Scientific Games announced a new exclusive partnership with Warner Bros. to adapt the popular HBO series Game of Thrones for a suite of online and retail lottery products. This will include interactive e-Instants, which provide an alternative to online casino games in some states.
Under the agreement, Scientific Games will have limited worldwide rights to develop innovative Game of Thrones-branded player experiences. That includes instant scratch games, Fast Play games, and digital lottery games.
The Game of Thrones digital and retail games are now available to US and international lotteries. For the 2022 fiscal year, Scientific Games’ licensed branded games for US lotteries generated $2.7 billion in retail sales. The new games could be even more popular.
These are the US jurisdictions where online instant lottery games are available, which could potentially include the new Game of Thrones products:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
Lottery Players Keen on Game of Thrones
Scientific Games used advanced consumer research techniques to assess the popularity and appeal of the Game of Thrones brand. The results showed that the brand ranked among the top choices for lottery games.
Kyle Rogers, the Vice President of North American Instant Products for Scientific Games, acknowledged the show’s success in the gaming and social gaming sectors. Rogers emphasized that the series has a broad fanbase.
That could bring a massive following to lottery games. In particular, online sales could increase significantly. A large part of the show’s fanbase is in younger demographics, which are more likely to purchase lottery products online.
Scientific Games also plans to incorporate the Game of Thrones brand into its Linked Games. As the name suggests, in Linked Games, multiple lotteries link to allow players to participate in special events to win prizes that could reach millions.
Since pioneering Linked Games winners’ events in 2007, Scientific Games has organized more than 30 major events for the lottery industry. These events have resulted in nearly $4.8 billion in retail sales with over 3,000 winners.
Online Expansion, Big Jackpots Bolster US Lottery Sales
Interest in lotteries in the US has significantly increased over the past few years. There have been seven billion-dollar jackpots since 2016. Four were since July 2022.
With the success of lottery games, interest in digital options has also increased. That has resulted in seven states, plus Washington DC, offering full-featured online lotteries with both draw ticket sales and instant win games.
Six other states offer online draw sales without instants, while Rhode Island is the only one with instants but no draw tickets. Some states sell them by subscription, while others allow single purchases. Furthermore, players can purchase tickets through lottery courier services like Jackpocket. Jackpocket is available in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
The number of states with online lotteries is expected to grow in the future. Connecticut is the latest. The state will start offering online draw tickets and online keno in late fall. The future success of pop culture games like Game of Thrones, aimed at younger players, could have more states consider going online.
Warner Partnership Extends to Both Halves of ‘Old SG’
The Scientific Games announcement comes a week after another branding deal for Warner. On July 12, Light & Wonder (L&W) announced an extension to its partnership with Warner to bring slots like Willy Wonka and The Wizard of Oz online.
Scientific Games and L&W used to be two divisions of the same company. That earlier company, also called Scientific Games, had divisions for casino gaming, sports betting, and lottery products. After divesting itself of the latter two divisions to focus solely on casino products, it rebranded as Light & Wonder. Historically, lottery products had been its first area of business, so the Scientific Games name went with that portion of the company.
The buyer for the lottery business, in October 2021, was Brookfield Business Partners LP, a subsidiary of private equity giant Brookfield Asset Management. It paid $5.8 billion. The sportsbook went for $800 million to Endeavor Group Holdings.
Warner’s branding deal with L&W predates the split-up. However, this week’s announcement with Scientific Games makes it clear that it has maintained a relationship with at least two parts of the former company.