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GasBuddy and Lottery – A Match Re-Made in Portland

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For the past 15 years, the Fall season has meant one thing to me. No, not leaf-peeping in Vermont, although for this Boston-based guy, that is an appealing offshoot of this season. Rather it means it’s time for the annual gathering of Lotteries at the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) conference.

This year’s event was held in September in Portland, Oregon, a city which prides itself on its eclectic vibe and abundant Oregon craft beer. And like the local pubs which offer dozens of different locally-produced beers, wines and ciders, NASPL similarly offered something for every gaming taste.

This was the inaugural NASPL conference for GasBuddy, as we recently ramped up our Lottery efforts. But we certainly felt at home. The lottery industry’s quick pivot to digital and interactive the past few years had made digital content publishers such as GasBuddy more relevant than ever.

A few things I picked up:

1. INTERACTIVE HAS CHANGED THE INDUSTRY

For most of my 15 years in the industry, I’ve been hearing “the internet is the future of the industry.” Perhaps, but not in the way we thought at the conclusion of the last century. Only a handful of lotteries can sell their tickets online and it will be a slow plod for others to join. What the internet has done is change the way lottery players gather information and make decisions. Lottery websites are among the most highly trafficked of all sites. But historically players don’t stay long. They check the winning numbers and leave.
Not so with the increase in players clubs, loyalty programs and second chance sites. Lotteries have given players reasons to stick around.

2. MOBILE IS LEADING THE WAY

Walking the NASPL trade show floor, I was struck by the number of booths where mobile was the showcase. Mobile apps which sell tickets, showcase “real money” games, provide ticket scanning and offer information. As the GasBuddy app lands in the latter category, I was heartened to see that when we team with lotteries, we can provide useful information to players that certainly helps drive foot traffic at lottery retail and, ultimately, sells tickets.

3. RETAIL IS STILL KING

And speaking of foot traffic, while technology is changing many aspects of the lottery industry, one thing is still true – retail is where most of the sales take place. Lottery players are critical to the financial success of retailers, as lottery players spend much more, on average, than other customers inside the retailer location. And this is where GasBuddy becomes most useful – we remind and message users at the pumps when they are mere feet from the point of purchase and we can then measure what percentage of those customers actually enter the retail location. Powerful data.

GasBuddy is looking forward to taking the momentum from the Portland event and doubling up on our efforts to reach out to lotteries. To paraphrase Rick Blaine in the movie Casablanca, NASPL 2017 was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between GasBuddy and North American lotteries.

For more information on GasBuddy’s lottery focused capabilities, check out last month’s press release.

GasBuddy, Senior Director of Advertising Partnerships

Jim Acton started his Lottery career as Chief of Staff at the Massachusetts Lottery, one of the country’s largest lotteries. He then worked at Hasbro as Director of Lottery and Gaming Licensing. Prior to coming to GasBuddy, Jim was Vice President, Business Development, at Scientific Games where he worked in both the Lottery interactive and licensing divisions.