By Luis Ayestaran, founding partner and technical consultant of APF & Asociados*
Through several articles, we will develop what we call the “Intelligent Lottery Model”, which we were able to implement throughout the five years that we were in charge of an entity for the exploitation and regulation of games of chance. As most lotteries in Argentina, this body is an entity with broad functions in gaming, being regulators and operators at the same time. When we say “Intelligent Lottery Model”, we refer to a lottery that applies the latest market technology in all its operation and control processes, complying with the objectives outlined in a short, medium and long term strategic plan, and with the need of standards in accordance with the most advanced International Certification Standards in the industry.
Regarding operation processes, we are talking not only about the automatic capture of bets in a modern sales network, with the highest technology and via online modality, but also about the use of all the existing payment methods available in the market. In case of having your own gambling products, they must be resolved through a drawing room with state-of-the-art technology, automated controls and applying blockchain certification. Another important point in the model developed is the modernization of internal administrative processes, implementing an electronic processing system and digital signature. Likewise, we make decisions based on the use of Artificial Intelligence to the online data of the commercial network, and to the products that are marketed (Business Intelligence and Analytics); all this in line with the development and implementation of a strategic business plan based on digital communication. On the other hand, we apply the same technology to control illegal gambling, which allows us to detect the commercialization of unauthorized games on social networks. To control Casino Halls’ areas, an Online Control System was used in all products and commercialization stages. Finally, an internal control process was designed based on responding to complaints and requests, both from each department within the organization and in relations with external agents. This introduction aims to give readers a general overview of the “Intelligent Lottery Model”, with the description of some of the items that take part of it, and developing only three of them.
We propose an Intelligent Lottery Platform (ILP) that consists of three modules: a) Certiﬁcates of extracts and winners in blockchain; b) Business Intelligence for the management, analysis and exploration of commercial information, and c) Claims and tickets system for communication with agencies, sub-agencies and citizens in general.
In the image, the Intelligent Lottery Model proposed is shown.
The technical aspects of the proposed service are detailed below.
Initially, blockchain certificates can be applied to the official extracts (results of the draws) of all lottery games that are marketed in various formats (paper, automatic and digital), as well as to the winning prize certificates. This technology can and should be used in connection with all official information issued by a gambling organization. The Lottery in which we developed this ILM was one of the first in the world to use this technology to increase its levels of trust and transparency with society. In the first year of implementation, we emphasized on the identification of the processes to be certified in blockchain, the adaptation of the platform and the loading of data, the training of the personnel who operated the platform and various dissemination and positioning actions. The proposal seeks the continuity of the service, allowing the Lottery to certify all its games and to issue certificates of winners of all its prizes. The proposal contemplates the service of using a platform, as well as its maintenance and technological updating. Improvements in the user experience that helps the progress in the implementation of processes by Lottery operators are considered.
We started to develop a platform that allows the user to view all the information on the business, the sales network and the marketing chain of the products in the same place and in a simpler way for the user. This favors the realization of temporal and geographical analyzes, and the appearance of early warnings about possible anomalies. The Business Intelligence platform helps answer questions and make decisions about the Lottery’s business operation. Data is transformed into information to be used for presenting in the format of interactive dashboards and self-configuring reports. Data found in the ranking templates of points of sale by year is taken as a starting point to answer questions and generate indicators. Some of these questions for analysis are the following: a) what are the total sales per year?; b) how are these sales distributed throughout the year, by point, class and location?; c) which are the top/low agents of the year?; d) what are the top/low locations of the year?; e) did sales increase or decrease in the current year compared to previous ones?; and f) did the sales of each agent increase or decrease in the current year compared to previous ones?
In summary, platform allows inquiries on betting behavior with immediate response, being able to consider the profitability by specific areas delimited by the business. In addition, the platform will simplify the display of any other information that the Lottery considers as necessary. All the commercial information of the sales network may be synchronized directly with the Lottery’s automatic bet collection systems and its different marketing channels, through an API provided and documented for integration.
The model considers the development and configuration of a fixed Dashboard previously designed with the Lottery. In that Dashboard, the aim is to have the most pertinent information on sales distributed by time, point of sale, class and location. Also, you can view the information by type of game. The platform, in turn, enables the Lottery to explore its databases and generate visualizations. Those visualizations may be included in online reports in interactive graphic format for digital dissemination. Online reports will have the flexibility of integrating texts, images, videos and previously configured graphics.
CLAIMS AND PETITIONS
This module is designed for the agile response to customers, commercial points, citizens, companies, suppliers and others. It works as a meeting point for the different areas of the Lottery. It also serves to manage requests, tickets and emerging services that are channeled from multiple ways, including social networks, call-center and platform, among others.
Integrated with Artificial Intelligence, the module automatically detects needs and relevant concerns of the public. Besides, the platform automatically learns to increase operational efﬁciency while eliminating nodes of information. It allows digitizing and improving claims’ management of all the organizations, stakeholders and agencies that depend on the Lottery. At the same time, the platform adapts to the Lottery’s operating process, closing the circle from the automatic detection of the need to the executing team and the inventory used to provide a solution.
It should be noted that the claims and requests platform will allow: 1) to increase understanding of the needs of the people and entities that are related to the Lottery; 2) to focus on delivering a much more efficient service and processing requests with Artificial Intelligence; 3) to achieve minimum response times and effective management of the resources of an institution; 4) to promote collaboration between areas to create a much more complete context and be more intelligent in control and coordination; 5) to obtain multichannel citizen information for the efficient delivery of the Lottery service and the timely detection of emerging needs; 6) to manage the information to operate in an orderly and efficient manner; 7) to view and analyze the received information and the performance of the staff; 8) to notify and be notified about events that demand the support of Lottery personnel; 9) to detect bottlenecks in customer services, and 10) to deliver analytical information for decision making.
In sum, it will provide a tool to intelligently manage both the relationship with points of sale and with citizens, customers and the Lottery.
*Luis Ayestaran is a renowned executive in Argentine gaming. For 5 years (2015-2020), he was the head of the Rio Negro Province Lottery, one of the most advanced in technology and facilities in the country. Previously, he held other senior public positions in the Provincial Institute of Health Insurance (IPRROS), the General Directorate of Civil Registry, Identification and Cedulation (DIGERCIC), the General Inspection of Legal Persons of the Province of Rio Negro, the Provincial Agency for the Economic Development of Rio Negro, the Federal Council of Investments and Aguas Rionegrinas S.A.
In addition, he was a principal consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Ayestaran is a National Public Accountant with a specialty in Strategic Management, graduated from the Universidad Catolica de La Plata (Argentina).