British Columbia Lottery Corporation Taking Lead in Casino Tech

As technology continues to make huge leaps and bounds in making our lives more convenient, large business institutions may struggle to keep up. With legacy software and possible budget constraints, companies are sometimes left in the dust when it comes to bringing a 21st century experience to their customers.

Surprisingly, though, some institutions take the lead. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation recently wrapped up a three-year project where they’ve replaced technology that supports 36 casinos across the province.

“We’ve always been a completely digital product, so when you think about slot machines, buying a lottery ticket or playing on our site, it’s all digital,” says Lynette DuJohn, CIO of the BCLC. “So as technology moves and changes, we have to keep pace with it in order to continue to deliver to our customers.”

In a 2014/2015 Service Plan report from the BCLC, the company stated that “The combined impacts of advancements in technology, the use of big data and the growing dominance of mobile devices in everyday life have created new consumer expectations to deliver experiences that are seamless, omnichannel, and more relevant.”

The latter presented a problem for the company that couldn’t be addressed with their current model – according to DuJohn, a lot of the gaming systems were so old that they couldn’t support growth or new types of gameplay. To make the integration as seamless as possible for the players, they had no downtime during this transition through each of the locations, and customers could use their points card no matter if they were using the old or new system.

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“There was a lot going on behind the scenes to make that happen,” DuJohn says. “We leveraged our enterprise bus service and created integration points for the data to flow between the two systems seamlessly.”

Also, instead of replicating the infrastructure of their casinos – including servers, storage and applications – at each of their 36 locations, which would have taken longer, they centralized all of their hardware in their Kamloops location, which supports all 36 locations.

“That was pretty interesting; no other casino in Canada has done this,” DuJohn says. At the same time, they also host playing for online playing for casinos in Manitoba, which DuJohn says is “relatively new” in the world of casino.

Today, they offer more digital-friendly games like virtual horse racing, U-Spin Bonusing (an electronic bonus wheel that can be spun for prizes) and video poker bonusing.