Maryland Lottery unveils new RNG-powered digital draws

Maryland Lottery unveils new RNG-powered digital draws
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The Maryland Lottery has announced it will implement a random number generator (RNG) system for an additional five games in its portfolio, starting next week.

The computer system, or variations of it, have been used for decades in the lottery to produce randomly generated sets of numbers for quick-pick tickets, as well as drawing results in Racetrax and Keno, which were the lottery’s second and third-highest selling draw games in FY2022.

However, beginning December 19, RNG will also be used for the digital draws for Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 5, as well as Bonus Match 5 and Multi-Match, as the lottery shifts from traditional numbered balls and mechanical draw machines.

John Martin, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, commented: “Lottery balls and machines have been part of the Maryland Lottery’s history, but it’s important for us to modernise as we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond.

“More than 30 other lotteries in the US and Canada have shifted to RNG systems because they are efficient, cost-effective – and most importantly they are extremely secure.”

The RNG system used to conduct the Maryland Lottery draws has been developed by Smartplay International Lottery Systems, which has put “stringent” measures in place to protect the integrity of draws.

The Smartplay RNG system is not connected to the internet and cannot be accessed remotely, and it is housed in a secure room that is double-locked and under 24/7 surveillance. Two draw officials with separate electronic access cards must be present in order to open the door to the room. 

The Smartplay Cabinet is also double-locked and cannot be opened without two officials each using separate keys. Additionally, the vital hardware and software are sealed within the cabinet and the system is rendered inoperable if the seal is broken.

Gaming Laboratories International, which specialises in verification and integrity factors for lotteries around the world, has tested and validated the Smartplay RNG system.

Martin added:“From our player’s perspective, nothing in the way the games are played is changing. We still have the same games with the same prize structures, drawn at the same times each day. And as always, the outcomes are purely the result of random chance.”

The lottery further confirmed that instead of showing lottery draws on television, animated videos of the draw – similar to those used in Keno – will be available to watch on its website.