If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
That seems to be the sentiment at the Rhode Island Lottery after signing a three-year extension with International Gaming Technology (IGT). The lottery oversees the only online sportsbook in the state, Sportsbook RI, and has worked closely with IGT to make improvements to Sportsbook RI through IGT’s PlaySports tech platform.
“As one of the first U.S. lotteries to launch sports betting, Rhode Island Lottery is very pleased with the successful program we have built over the last five years, backed by IGT’s world-class technology and William Hill’s operator experience,” Rhode Island Lottery Director Mark Furcolo said in a statement. “IGT recently invested significant resources to enhance our sports betting platform and mobile app. These upgrades will enable us to maximize revenue and offer a solution that remains competitive among neighboring states in this dynamic, regional sports betting market.”
IGT extension part of bigger relationship with R.I. lottery
The Rhode Island Lottery’s IGT contract extension seemed to be an easy choice. IGT is a leader in gaming technology. It joined the lottery when sports betting launched in the state in 2018. Since then, its PlaySports platform helped the lottery launch sports betting quickly and integrate commercial sports betting partner William Hill.
Additionally, PlaySports gives the Rhode Island Lottery the hardware and software it needs to offer online sports betting as well as data and marketing services to track progress and acquire new customers.
“The Rhode Island Lottery championed sports betting in 2018 as one of the early adopters in the post-PASPA era, and IGT is excited to continue driving Rhode Island’s sports betting growth,” IGT President of Sports Betting Joe Asher said. “Rhode Island is home to very loyal sports fans who love following their New England-based teams. The enhancements IGT has made to the Lottery’s sports betting platform and app provide fans with a convenient and intuitive player experience and yield strong returns that support the Lottery’s commitment to generating revenue for good causes.”
The “good causes” Asher referred to are the organizations that the lottery donates portions of its revenue to.
IGT locked down for lottery services for next 20 years
The relationship between Rhode Island and IGT goes beyond sports betting. IGT also provides the lottery with instant ticket, online lottery, and video lottery solutions.
In June 2021, the Rhode Island General Assembly approved IGT’s contract for exclusive lottery services through 2043. To be the state’s exclusive provider, IGT has to pay a $27 million fee. Additionally, IGT is required to make “continued technology investments”. Those investments include updating the lottery’s online gaming system and expanding the state’s online lottery gaming library.