The Kroger Co. is testing the sale of lottery tickets at checkout through a partnership with Scientific Games Corp., the Kentucky Lottery and Blackhawk Network.
Scientific Games, a Las Vegas-based provider of lottery and gaming services, said Tuesday that shoppers at Kroger stores in the Lexington, Ky., area can now buy scratch games along with their groceries in one transaction in the checkout lanes. Plans call for the long-term initiative, which uses Scientific’s SCiQ InLane technology, to expand to Kroger Co. stores in other markets.
“Consumer data is a critical element to better serve our customers. The SCiQ solution provides us with the data needed to better serve our lottery players,” Jarrod Cummins, director of prepaid services at Kroger, said in a statement. “Through our partnership with Scientific Games and long-standing relationship with Blackhawk Network, Kroger is delighted to be the first grocery store partner for checkout line lottery sales in the U.S., and we look forward to expanding this effort to additional states.”
According to Scientific, SCiQ InLane marks the first solution that integrates with retailer point-of-sale systems to enable the sale of lottery instant games through technology from Blackhawk Network, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of prepaid/gift cards and payment solutions.
The SCiQ technology provides automated instant-game dispensing under the retail checkout counter, and a high-visibility, dynamic menu display shows customers the games for sale. The system provides real-time data analytics to the retailer and the lottery, and every unit of instant product sold is tracked automatically, allowing more visibility into sales performance and available inventory, Scientific said. SCiQ also automates the retailer's shift accounting reconciliation process
“The convenience offered by the SCiQ InLane solution is a game changer for consumers who are focused on getting in and out of the grocery store quickly for many reasons, including COVID-19 concerns,” explained Michael Martin, vice president of retail solutions at Scientific Games. “SCiQ InLane offers unparalleled product security and the ability to engage light and lapsed players who don’t visit lottery self-service machines in the store.”
For Blackhawk, the partnership will further enable the delivery of a more convenient lottery experience at retail and open up new opportunities for Kentucky Lottery and Kroger to engage consumers.
“Blackhawk is committed to bringing greater convenience to new and existing consumers purchasing instant lottery games,” commented Richard Gotlieb, vice president of lottery and sports betting at Blackhawk Network. “Partnering with Scientific Games, Kroger and the Kentucky Lottery to support this innovative, in-lane solution is yet another option that enables our retail partners to drive incremental sales and offer greater convenience to their customers.”
Kroger is Kentucky Lottery’s largest supermarket partner. Currently, instant games are a nearly $60 billion consumer product category in the United States, with sales at U.S. grocery stores representing about $11 billion, or 18.5%, of total instant-game retail sales, Scientific reported.
“All of us at the Kentucky Lottery are excited to be chosen as the first state to test this new system, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it performs in the marketplace," said Kentucky Lottery president and CEO Mary Harville.
The Kentucky Lottery is one of the world’s top 20 lotteries for instant-game per-capita sales, Scientific added. The company said it’s the world’s largest creator, manufacturer and service provider of lottery instant games, with its products generating more than 70% of global instant-game retail sales.