96% of all transactions on National Lottery terminals take under two seconds, says PLI
Starting today, Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) is planning a retail visit to each National Lottery agent to connect ticket checkers to the new Intralot Photon terminals
26 January 2015 | 0
Following the recent RGDATA survey which reported that 72% of retailers surveyed have suffered a loss of service of their National Lottery terminal since the switchover to Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), Dermot Griffin, chief executive, PLI and Nikolaos Nikolakopoulos, COO of technology supplier, Intralot met with ShelfLife in order to answer retailers’ concerns.
In numbers: The National Lottery response
44 – The number of retail agent seminars organised by PLI all over Ireland in November 2014 in advance of the technology change
90 – The percentage attendance rate from all National Lottery retail agents at the seminars
5 – The number of issues of the Transition Times publication, which the National Lottery states was sent to all its agents
96 – The percentage of all transactions that PLI and Intralot say have been going through on agent terminals within less than two seconds, while a further 2% are going through in under three seconds.
7 – 7 March 2015 is the date all customers have until to collect prizes sold on tickets from the old Gtech system.
26 –Starting today (Monday, 26 January 2015) PLI is planning a visit to each agent to connect ticket checkers to the new Intralot Photon terminals. When this is complete, PLI says it will download the new terminal application required to allow the ticket checkers to operate on the Intralot platform.
2 – Phase 2 of PLI’s retail transition programme will see the old Lotto and Quick Pick terminals removed and new Photon terminals settled into their permanent in-store positions. The company is now in communication with its agents about how this phase of the transition programme will work.
Here is how PLI and Intralot responded in full to our questions:
RGDATA has said that PLI need to improve their communications with retailers and customers on the switchover – how would PLI respond to this?
There have been a number of significant milestone targets achieved since the transfer of operations from An Post National Lottery Company (APNLC) to Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) on 30 November 2014.
- Over 20,000 pieces of technical equipment have been installed across the network.
- All central and network systems have been successfully replaced.
- Over 50 million plays have been made on the Intralot system since it began on 30 November 2014.
At the 44 retail agent seminars organised by PLI all over Ireland in November 2014 in advance of the technology change, there was an over 90% attendance rate from all National Lottery retail agents. For anyone who was not available to attend, a member of PLI’s field sales representative team visited and provided in-store training. All of the agents who attended the seminars had demonstrations and received training on the new Intralot Photon terminals from the National Lottery’s sales team. All of this was enthusiastically received by agents who attended.
Premier Lotteries Ireland has engaged, at every stage during the transition programme, with our Retail Council which has representation from all trade associations. This engagement has allowed for the transfer of information between both parties and in particular has served to inform PLI of the significant impact to retail as a result of this transition project.
We have also communicated with our agents through every stage of transition through our Transition Times newsletter. There have been five issues of this publication, sent to all our agents.
How many National Lottery agents have experienced a loss of service to their terminal since the switchover to PLI and how have you rectified this problem?
96% of all transactions have been going through on agent terminals within less than two seconds, while a further two per cent are going through in under three seconds. There are a number of minor issues, but the overwhelming majority of agents are not experiencing problems. In some very rare cases, agents have had to reboot their systems. The problems at retail level are not in any way as significant as have been claimed.
Given the scale of the programme, it was expected that there would be some minor terminal and communications performance issues for retailers. Our software and technology support teams are dedicated to working on solutions to optimise performance levels for these retail agents. While Retail Helpdesk volumes were high in early December 2014, which was to be expected given the scale of the business transformation, we are pleased that call patterns have now returned to normal levels.
RGDATA’s survey also found “95% of retailers surveyed do not have a self-scanning ticket checker for the new national Lottery slips installed in their shop”. How would you respond to this?
Agents are not waiting for new self-service scanners. As was communicated to agents in advance of the changeover in November, self service ticket checkers would function only for tickets sold on the old Gtech system.
Players have until 7 March 2015 to collect these prizes. Beginning on Monday 26 January 2015, PLI is planning a retail visit to each agent to connect ticket checkers to the new Intralot Photon terminals. When this is complete, we will download the new terminal application required to allow the ticket checkers to operate on the Intralot platform. It was not logistically possible to have self service ticket checkers capable of checking both old and new tickets.
How quickly can you help service retailers’ problems?
As expected with any transition on this scale, there have been some minor issues. As these have arisen, they have been dealt with through software downloads.
In relation to agent orders of supplies, under the new system, PLI provides a ‘one stop shop’ where, using a freefone number, retail agents can order scratchcards, ticket rolls and playslips. This is a ‘next day’ service, and supplies are dispatched to agents immediately from the National Lottery’s warehouse.
We now look forward to Phase 2 of our retail transition programme which will see the old Lotto and Quick Pick terminals removed and new Photon terminals settled into their permanent in-store positions. We are now in communication with our agents about how this phase of the transition programme will work.
Have National Lottery sales declined since the switchover?
Sales of scratchcards increased during the transition period. Sales levels of draw based games like Lotto and EuroMillions continued throughout transition in line with the levels expected, given the jackpots on offer in both games at that time.
Will an increased use of online customers negatively affect retailers?
Our consumers are happy to play our games in the manner most convenient for them in their busy lives. We believe that National Lottery players will continue to use both agent outlets and play National Lottery games online, as suits them.