National Lottery chief pens open letter

Dermot Griffin, chief executive of Premier Lotteries

Dermot Griffin, chief executive of Premier Lotteries Ireland outlines the transition the National Lottery has gone through over the past six months. He acknowledges that there were some difficulties and thanks retailers for their patience during this time



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13 April 2015

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It’s been challenging, it’s been complex but it is an exciting time and we’re almost there! The transition to the new lottery system, that kicked off on 30 November last year, has represented the largest technology roll-out in Irish retail history and we would like to thank our many agents for their invaluable support.

It has required the connection of 20,000 pieces of equipment in 3,700 retail outlets across the country; the introduction of a new website, online platform and central and telecommunications systems. We have processed over 72 million plays; delivered 98% of all transactions within three seconds in the systems with five Jackpot winners of €1million or over created so far!

To achieve all of this, we welcomed over 3,000 retailers to 44 briefings last autumn, and we thank our retailers for attending these sessions, and for their patience and support ever since.

We acknowledge that we have faced some difficulties which have affected retailers and players. The National Lottery deferred a Lotto draw – an unprecedented event – due to a telecoms outage over which we had no control. The decision to defer was taken in the best interests of our players and agents.

We have also had some setbacks including a number of temporary outages. Solutions to these outages are being put in place and we will continually work to improve the resilience of our communications network and to optimise performance on our systems to ensure a thriving lottery into the future.

There have also been some temporary inconveniences, most notably having to retain the self-service ticket checkers on the old system. In this regard, I would like thank our retail partners for their continued patience.

The reconnection and activation of the self-service ticket checkers is on track for April and will be fully supported by onsite technicians and helpline staff to ensure that the service is restored and each agent fully understands the mechanics of the new system following a period of initial testing.

Despite everything, the lottery retail network has been live over 99% of the time since changeover, and the central system has delivered 99.97% resilience. Retailers and the National Lottery have also successfully delivered over 400 draws – generating over €50m for good causes.

As the period of transition draws to a close, continuity of service and ensuring minimal negative impact on retailers and players will remain paramount. When complete, we look forward to collectively enjoying the benefits of the new modern system and to a bright future for our National Lottery – one with more millionaires, exciting games, increased returns to good causes and one of the most advanced lottery systems in Europe.



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