Scientific Games | Instant Games’ Epic Evolution

Back in 1978, when instant “scratch” games were introduced in the European lottery market, disco topped the charts, and the first personal computer, the Commodore PET, had just been introduced. Times change, and the lottery industry is no exception. Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, European Insights Manager for Scientific Games, pinpoints the drivers of the ongoing popularity and evolution of instant games.

Instant Games’ Epic Evolution

Back in 1978, when instant “scratch” games were introduced in the European lottery market, ABBA and the Bee Gees topped the charts and a gallon of petrol cost £0.76. The first personal computer, the Commodore PET, was introduced, and a cutting-edge video game called SPACE INVADERS™ was all the rage.

Needless to say, times change. The lottery industry is no exception.

Since the 1970s, when Scientific Games introduced the first secure lottery instant game, more than 1 trillion instant tickets have been sold worldwide. To keep capturing players’ imaginations and sales, the industry has had to adapt.

“Sometimes to move forward we need to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come,” says Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, European Insights Manager for Scientific Games. “A lot has changed since then.”

To get from those early days to today, instant games have undergone a world of changes, such as higher price points and product mix, more appealing designs, and heightened entertainment value. At the EL/WLA Marketing seminar in February, Magdalenoka-Keen pinpointed five key drivers behind the ongoing popularity and evolution of instant games: technology, competition, philosophy, product mix and players.


The plethora of technology in our lives would have seemed like science fiction 40 years ago. Once a niche market, personal computing has now become an elemental part of everyday life. Most people carry smartphones that have an astounding 500,000+ times more computing power than that first personal computer in 1978.

Advances in technology have enabled the lottery industry to evolve and thrive. From highly efficient instant game manufacturing technology with vastly more printing features, to mobile apps and self-service machines that sell games directly to players, innovation is the fuel that moves lotteries forward. But leaps in technology don’t just happen on their own.

“Technology wouldn’t change if there wasn’t something that forces it to change. Often the force that makes technology move is competition,” Magdalenoka-Keen said.


Lottery games used to be the only way players could have the opportunity to win big money prizes with low investment. In 1994, The National Lottery television show debuted on the BBC. Over 20 million viewers tuned in to the first broadcast to watch the lottery draw results in the United Kingdom on television. By 2016, viewership had declined to just 3.2 million.

The dwindling viewership of The National Lottery underscores the wealth of gaming entertainment options that has become available to players, from casinos and sports betting to a variety of online and mobile games. Competition has pushed the lottery industry to work harder to maintain its share of players’ wallets, especially as other forms of gaming intensify their marketing, innovation and player engagement.

“It’s a much more challenging environment to operate in compared to where we started,” Magdalenoka-Keen said.


In the early days, lotteries could get away with a one-size-fits-all approach to instant games. They would often sell one game at a time, trying to appeal to all players.

“It worked because lotteries were on an upward curve, acquiring players, increasing points of sale and price points. All they needed was a new game idea to put in front of their players,” Magdalenoka-Keen said.

However, the industry is moving away from a monolithic approach in favor of appealing to specific player groups.

In the United Kingdom alone there are at least 20 million lottery instant “scratch” game players, or about 2,000 people playing every minute. Of course, these players do not all play the same game. They are motivated to buy different games for many and various reasons.

“Segmenting players based on motivations moves us away from one-size-fits-all philosophy,” explained Magdalenoka-Keen.

Scientific Games’ ONE™ segmentation study identifies player types and what motivates them. Magdalenoka-Keen uses the acronym EPIC to describe four primary player groups: Enthusiasts, Passionates, Impulsives and Conditionals. For example, Enthusiasts spend the most, are active in multiple game types, and seek big prizes via complex games.

Product Mix

Creating a mix of products that satisfies different players’ needs and motivations is a science in itself. Some players are motivated by top prizes or complex games, while others opt for low price, good odds or a familiar format. By offering varied games that appeal to consumers’ diverse preferences, lotteries can better engage and retain players.

“Rather than finding the next best game, it’s about creating the right mix of games in a market,” Magdalenoka-Keen said. “It’s a complex way to create EPIC content.”

One of the ways that Scientific Games builds an engaging mix of products is by listening to players through its ONE™ Voice market research online community. Getting feedback on games and concepts directly from players helps the company and their lottery customers learn just what players want.


To maintain sustainable growth and stay relevant with players, lotteries are more consumer-centric. This means tapping into customer culture by filling players’ needs with the best solutions.

To do this, Scientific Games not only designs games—they focus on creating an entire lottery experience. Looking at the product from a holistic point of view addresses how players interact with lottery.

“Players made lotteries’ success possible. Now it’s time to thank them. We have to listen to our consumers and deliver on their expectations, motivations and drivers,” Magdalenoka-Keen said. “Taking what we’ve learned over many years, we are here to support our lottery partners and players on their gaming entertainment journeys.”

Like the Bee Gees and ABBA, instant games have been stayin’ alive and singing “Take a chance on me” since the 1970s. Like technology, gaming culture is everywhere today, and it is no longer relegated to a niche audience.

SPACE INVADERS © TAITO CORPORATION 1978.  2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  TAITO CORPORATION is the exclusive owner of the global intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, for SPACE INVADERS and its characters.

© 2019 Scientific Games Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

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En 1978, lorsque les jeux instantanés « à gratter » ont été introduits sur le marché européen des loteries, la disco était en tête des hit-parades et le premier ordinateur personnel, le Commodore PET, venait juste d’être introduit.

Inutile de dire que les temps ont bien changé depuis. L’industrie de la loterie ne fait pas exception.

Depuis les années 1970, plus de mille milliards de billets instantanés ont été vendus dans le monde. Pour continuer à capter l’imagination des joueurs et enregistrer des ventes, l’industrie a dû s’adapter.

Les jeux instantanés ont connu de nombreux changements, tels que des prix plus élevés, plus de gammes de produits, des conceptions plus attrayantes et plus d’accent placé sur le divertissement. Lors du séminaire Marketing EL/WLA en février, Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, responsable des perspectives européennes chez Scientific Games, a identifié cinq facteurs clés de la popularité et de l’évolution des jeux instantanés : la technologie, la concurrence, la philosophie, la gamme de produits et les joueurs.

Les progrès technologiques ont permis à l’industrie de la loterie d’évoluer et de prospérer. Des technologies de production aux applications mobiles, en passant par les machines en libre-service, l’innovation est le carburant qui fait avancer les loteries.

La force qui fait avancer la technologie est souvent la concurrence. Une multitude d’options ludiques est maintenant disponible pour les joueurs. La concurrence a poussé l’industrie des loteries à redoubler d’efforts pour conserver sa part du portefeuille des joueurs.

L’industrie essaie de plus en plus d’attirer des groupes de joueurs spécifiques. L’étude de segmentation ONE™ de Scientific Games identifie les types de joueurs et ce qui les motive. Magdalenoka-Keen utilise l’acronyme EPIC pour décrire les quatre principaux groupes de joueurs : Les Enthousiastes, les Passionnés, les Impulsifs et les Conditionnels.

Créer une combinaison de produits qui répondent aux besoins et aux motivations des différents joueurs est une science en soi. En proposant des jeux variés qui répondent aux diverses préférences des consommateurs, les loteries peuvent mieux attirer et fidéliser les joueurs.

Pour maintenir une croissance durable et leur pertinence auprès des joueurs, les loteries sont davantage centrées sur le consommateur. Cela signifie qu’il faut exploiter la culture client en répondant aux besoins des joueurs avec les meilleures solutions.


Allá por 1978, cuando los juegos de “rasca y gana” instantáneos aparecían por primera vez en el mercado europeo de las loterías, la música disco era la moda y el primer ordenador personal, el Commodore PET, acaba de salir.

Evidentemente, los tiempos cambian. Y la industria de las loterías no es una excepción.

Desde 1970 se han vendido más de un billón de billetes instantáneos en todo el mundo. Para continuar fomentando la imaginación de los jugadores, así como las ventas, la industria ha tenido que adaptarse.

Los juegos instantáneos han sufrido muchos cambios, como precios más altos y mayores combinaciones de productos, diseños más atractivos y un mejor entretenimiento. En el seminario de marketing de EL/WLA de febrero, Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, gerente de ideas para Europa de Scientific Games, describió cinco factores principales que han impulsado la popularidad y evolución de los juegos instantáneos: tecnología, competencia, filosofía, jugadores y combinación de productos.

Los avances tecnológicos han permitido a la industria de las loterías evolucionar y prosperar. Desde el desarrollo de tecnología hasta aplicaciones móviles y máquinas de autoservicio, la innovación es el motor que impulsa a las loterías.

A menudo, lo que hace que la tecnología avance es la competencia. Ahora los jugadores tienen a su alcance una gran variedad de opciones de entretenimiento en apuestas. La competencia ha hecho que la industria de las loterías se esfuerce en mantener su cuota de mercado en las carteras de los jugadores.

La industria está intentando cada vez más atraer a grupos de jugadores específicos. El estudio de segmentación ONE™ de Scientific Games identifica tipos de jugadores y qué les motiva. Magdalenoka-Keen usa el acrónimo EPIC para describir cuatro rasgos que conforman diferentes grupos primarios de jugadores: entusiasmo, pasión, impulsividad y potencial.

Crear una mezcla de productos que satisfaga las necesidades y motivaciones de diferentes jugadores es una ciencia en sí misma. Ofreciendo juegos variados adaptados a las diferentes preferencias de los consumidores, las loterías pueden atraer y conservar a los jugadores de mejor manera.

Para mantener un crecimiento sostenible y seguir siendo relevantes para los jugadores, las loterías deben centrarse más en el consumidor. Esto significa adentrarse en la cultura de los consumidores para satisfacer sus necesidades con las mejores soluciones posibles.


Wir blicken in das Jahr 1978 zurück, als die ersten „Rubbel-“ Spiele auf dem europäischen Lotteriemarkt eingeführt wurden, Discomusik die Charts eroberte und der erste PC, der Commodore PET, gerade eingeführt worden war.

Überflüssig zu sagen, dass sich die Zeiten ändern. Und auch die Lotteriebranche bildet hier keine Ausnahme.

Seit den 1970er-Jahren wurden mehr als 1 Billion Sofortlose weltweit verkauft. Um sich die Fantasie der Spieler zu erhalten und die Verkaufszahlen zu steigern, musste sich die Branche anpassen.

Sofort-Spielewurden unzähligen Veränderungen unterzogen, beispielsweise mit höheren Preispunkten und einem umfassenderen Produktmix, attraktiveren Designs und einem gesteigerten Unterhaltungswert. Bei dem EL/WLA-Marketing-Seminar im Februar zeigte Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, European Insights Manager, Scientific Games, exakt fünf wichtige treibende Kräfte hinter der ungebrochenen Beliebtheit und Entwicklung von Sofort-Spielen auf: Technologie, Wettbewerb, Philosophie, Produktmix und Spieler.

Technologische Vorteile haben die Lotteriebranche in die Lage versetzt, sich weiterzuentwickeln und zu florieren. Von der Fertigungstechnik bis hin zu mobilen Apps und Self-Service-Maschinen: Innovation ist der Kraftstoff, der die Lotterien nach vorne bringt.

Und die Kraft, die Technologie antreibt, ist häufig der Wettbewerb. Den Spielern wurde eine Vielzahl von Optionen im Bereich der Spielunterhaltung verfügbar gemacht. Wettbewerb hat die Lotteriebranche dazu gebracht, sich noch stärker zu engagieren, um sich ihren Anteil an den Einsätzen der Spieler zu erhalten.

Die Branche versucht zunehmend, sich gegenüber speziellen Spielergruppen attraktiv darzustellen. Die Segmentierungsstudie von Scientific Games ONE™ identifiziert Spielertypen und deren Motivation. Magdalenoka-Keen verwendet das Akronym EPIC, um vier Hauptspielergruppen zu beschreiben: Enthusiasts, Passionates, Impulsives and Conditionals (Enthusiasten, Leidenschaftliche, Impulsive und Konditionale).

Die Zusammenstellung einer Produktmischung, welche die Bedürfnisse und Motivationen verschiedener Spieler befriedigt, ist eine Wissenschaft für sich. Durch das Angebot unterschiedlicher Spiele, die den verschiedenen Präferenzen der Verbraucher zusagen, gelingt es den Lotterien immer besser, neue Spieler zu gewinnen und bestehende zu halten.

Zur Erhaltung eines nachhaltigen Wachstums und um für die Spieler relevant zu bleiben, agieren Lotterien heute stärker verbraucherorientiert. Das bedeutet, sich die Verbraucherkultur erschließen, indem die Bedürfnisse der Spieler mit den besten Lösungen befriedigt werden.

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