Playing lotteries from home

Oct 15, 2002 6:36 AM

If account betting can be used to encourage horseplayers why can’t a system be devised to interest lottery players?

That was the question that Lorne Weil, chairman and CEO of Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) asked his systems engineers. The result was the first prepaid lottery account system called SGI AccountPlay. The system uses cards and vouchers that let people play lotteries anywhere, any time where they are permitted by law.

The system is simple enough. SGI AccountPlay cards or vouchers are sold at authorized lottery retailers for designated amounts such as $10, $25, or $100. The players then open an account with the lottery of their choice and they can use their cards to play the lottery over the telephone. Identification is made through a "unique identification number."

"The SGI AccountPlay system is an important innovation in lottery distribution," said Weil in announcing the account betting system. "Our cards or vouchers will enable impulse play as well as help reduce long lines during periods of large jackpots," he added.

The system allows players to select the game, the amount of the bet, and check the account balance. The lottery’s central system instantly records all the information. To replenish the account, players buy new cards from lottery retailers. Winnings are credited to the account and can be claimed by presenting the card or voucher to a retailer.

The company said it will launch the account system at the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries meeting in Baltimore, Md.