Bede Gaming & OLG reaping rewards of alliance in Ontario

Transferring retail customers into digital customers hasn’t always been a plain sailing task for firms, but Bede Gaming and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) appear to have settled on a suitable formula.

Bede Gaming and OLG have been in collaboration for more than four years now, and a long-standing relationship looks to have put them in good stead as the partners aim to evolve in the Ontario gaming market.

“In the lottery space, where of course you’re trying to bring retail customers into digital, it isn’t necessarily a case of converting them, it’s about giving them a consistent experience and a great offering in all places,” opined Bede Gaming’s Chief Strategy Officer Alistair Boston-Smith, speaking to SBC.

“One of the things that OLG and Bede have been doing together is quite a lot of work of actually mimicking some of the experiences they get in retail within digital. 

“By that, I mean, one of the benefits from within retail is that there’s no friction. I can just go in, I buy my lottery ticket, I hand over some cash or payment card and I walk out. It’s the same as in a sportsbook, bookmakers etc.”

Earlier this summer, Sarah Hitchcock, EVP Bede Canada and Chief Product Officer, told SBC that OLG has “fully embraced digital as a complementary channel to its retail arm and is hugely benefiting from this approach”.

Hitchcock added: “Other lottery operators can also benefit from this collaborative approach and provide further support to the communities they serve by prioritising a digital strategy.”

This is a sentiment further endorsed by Boston-Smith, who suggests that lotteries hold a significant opportunity for growth compared to igaming firms, with OLG leading the charge.

He said: “Lotteries are different because, in many cases, their ownership structure is linked to the government, so they have a different group of stakeholders and their role and their focuses are quite different.

“There is a lot of alignment and synergy between the land-based casino space and lotteries. For their core business, a large proportion of customers are coming through retail journeys, they’re buying tickets, gaming, and obviously they are placing sports bets or playing machines in casinos.

“For many, that is still a distance from the digital experience. They may do lots of things digitally, but they don’t necessarily do these things. The lottery space has moved on enormously, like the gaming space has, more so in certain geographies than others.”