What Should the Next National Game Do?

When the jackpots are big enough, we see money pouring in. But ‘big enough’ keeps floating higher, and the number of players is not growing significantly. If we want to engage people to play more money more often, we need to give them better value. I discuss how to do that, in NASPL Insights April 2020.

Risky Business – Time for Insurance?

Historically, state-sponsored lotteries have relied on the sheer volume of transactions, achieved through their monopoly status, to make the risk of paying big prizes reasonable. However, these advantages may be absent when a new game is started.  Other businesses have developed risk-sharing mechanisms, including insurance against specific risks.  ‘Synthetic’ lotteries like Lottoland have shown these can work in gaming. There maybe something to learn here, as I discuss in NASPL Insights August 2018.

What I Learned About the Lottery from the Economist of a Remote Pacific Island

Pio is an economist educated in the US Ivy League, who serves his native island of Zoa in many capacities, including Director of the Lottery. I was introduced to him at a meeting of economists in Seattle, and he opened my eyes to a factor that drives our year-on-year increases in Instant game sales. Economists agree: if money is getting cheaper, it takes more of it to express the same value, year after year. NASPL Insights June 2015

Forecasting Instant Game Sales

In Washington State, the lottery shares its sales forecasts with state economists, who are accustomed to forecasting all sorts of revenue of the basis of economic and population variables. Taking their lead, I found that I could account for a long, quarter-by-quarter history of instant game consumption on the basis of population, cost of living, unemployment, and so on- without taking into account anything that the lottery was doing. With forecasts of these driving variables, it is possible to make quarter-by-quarter forecasts of instant game consumption that are as accurate as other revenue forecasts. I apologize for the tight academic style of this article; I was still transitioning from hard science! NASPL Insights October 2011