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David Douglas, Vice President, Service Management, Scientific Games
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David Douglas, Vice President, Service Management, Scientific Games

David Douglas, Vice President, Service Management, Scientific Games

In case you missed it, much of the U.S. was in a Powerball® frenzy leading up to January 9, 2016, when three lucky winners split a lottery jackpot of $1.5 billion. It was the largest sum awarded in U.S. lottery history.

Over the many weeks building up to the mega-jackpot, our Scientific Games community was fully focused on the service and support of our lottery customers and their customers, lottery retailers, across the U.S. We have teams of highly experienced professionals who design, build, maintain, operate and support our lottery customers’ ultra-complex systems networks, so they continue to run during peak periods without a glitch. 

Scientific Games and Gaming Technology

Scientific Games is a leading developer of technology-based products and services and associated content for worldwide gaming, lottery and interactive markets, with more than 1500 customers on six continents. The world’s top-performing lotteries and gaming organizations partner with us for game content, technology, customized programs and managed services that engage today’s players in new and exciting ways, and provide solutions for both traditional and interactive channels – which are designed to increase revenues, and ultimately contributions to lottery beneficiaries like education, senior citizens, health and welfare, transportation and other infrastructure, and the environment. Scientific Games acquired WMS Gaming and Bally Technologies in 2014 and 2015, respectively – the #3 and #2 gaming companies in the U.S., based on total revenue at the time.   

Our casino customers are among the largest in the world and include Penn National, Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, Seminole Casinos, and more. We provide products, technology or services to more than 130 lotteries in 50 countries around the world including nearly every North American lottery.

Scientific Games offers state and provincial lotteries a turn-key solution that includes the installation of a data center and communication infrastructure. We also manufacture and install the communication equipment and lottery terminals at lottery retail locations, as well as provide on-going support for a lottery to sell games in all channels, retail, mobile and web.

I have the pleasure to lead our 900-strong North American service management team, which provides excellent service to our U.S customers at casinos and lottery retail locations. I’m responsible for our call centers and field service organization, depots, scheduling teams, field engineering and support staff.  

Powerball Frenzy and the Role of Scientific Games

During this record-breaking Powerball run, my teams provided service to hundreds of lottery retailers to ensure our point-of-sale technology was optimized and had sufficient supplies to sell lottery tickets to the general public—even during peak periods. The $1.5 billion jackpot was historic compared to the previous largest jackpot at $656 million. In fact, the jump between the $949 million jackpot on January 9, which rolled into the $1.5 billion on the next drawing, was almost larger than the previous record!  It was EPIC.

Here are a few important statistics from largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history:

• Our systems processed 82,000 transactions per minute at the peak.

• We distributed an additional 15 million bet slips and 125,000 ticket rolls through the entire run, with virtually no emergency supply calls.

• We monitored 30,000 retailers selling 4.7 million Powerball wagers per hour at peaks.

• We maintained exceptional field service response times, and retailer call center average hold times of 25 seconds on the last two drawing days.

What Sets Us Apart from Our Competitors? 

On the Lottery side of our business, we may have to pay our customers if we fail to perform.  For example, in one state, if the terminal is down and not selling, we have 90 minutes to repair it. That means, not just showing up, but resolving the issue. If we are unable to do that within the time frame, we pay the state lottery up to $100 per hour.  We guarantee performance!  

Our service management tool, called Smart Services™, works overtime to track all of our business rules, store hours, tech schedules and response times. The tool processes every service ticket in the system every three minutes including planned preventative maintenance—we call it  “shuffling the deck." The process, in turn, ensures that optimal performance is achieved based on the business requirements for each lottery jurisdiction we support.

 Scientific Games’ Objectives for 2016

From a service business perspective, 2016 is off to a great start and we are excited about continuing to integrate our casino and lottery service teams. Even so, cross-training requires a dedicated effort—our focus is to get the combined teams on one service management system.  

Creating one shared service team from two related and distinct business models is challenging from an operational perspective, especially when working through some of the different system integrations—but a primary objective.  We’ll work to improve already excellent customer satisfaction scores and response times while providing efficient first-time repairs with a focus on minimizing repeat visits. We are working on proactively responding to service events and providing diagnostic information to our field techs, tech support, and customers. We’ll concentrate on resolving events from remote locations, even before the customer picks up the phone.  

The Bottom Line…  

Scientific Games is at the top of our game, and we are playing hard and playing to win.  The great Vince Lombardi said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."  At Scientific Games, we are laser-focused on serving our customer to help drive their revenue– and we are dedicated to continually improving our processes, technology and customer service. Whether it's supporting Powerball or new instant game for a lottery customer, we play to provide the world’s best lottery and gaming experiences.

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