The Iowa Lottery Board today finalized a 10-year, $50.3 million contract to upgrade the lottery’s computer system. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says the system will require new terminals to be installed at roughly 2,500 retail locations between March and July of next year.
“It’s the biggest contract involved in the operation of the lottery because it takes a lot of expertise and security measures to have a lottery in place and to provide the security perimeters that you have to have for lottery games,” Neubauer said.
The contract was awarded to Georgia based Scientific Games, Incorporated. The system will replace the current computer gear installed in 2001. Neubauer says it’ll result in improved service for both retailers and players – although players may not notice much more than a different look and feel to lottery tickets.
The new system will allow all vendors to sell all types of tickets. Currently, some outlets can only sell scratch tickets. “Once the new system is in place, all stores will have the same terminal so that every store – if it wants to – can sell lotto, scratch and pull tabs,” Neubauer said. “So, that’s an added convenience for customers.”
The system will also allow for self-checker machines. “These are little, stand-alone devices that won’t be right up by the lottery terminal. They’ll be somewhere else in the store. So, you as a lottery customer…can use that self-checker to check the lottery tickets yourself,” Neubauer said. “You won’t have to give them to the clerk to check them for you.”
The deal with Scientific Games was originally announced in September, but the lottery board waited for the Iowa D.C.I. to complete a background check on the company. Neubauer says the new system is expected to save the lottery around one million dollars a year in reduced costs.
The Iowa Lottery will switch to the new computer system on July 3, 2011.