Profit up, as ALC looks to create new, 'entertainment-based' games and products
'We need to stay with the times,' CEO says about bringing in new products
Atlantic Lottery Corporation was back online in the early hours of Monday morning, a little ahead of schedule following a weekend shutdown to upgrade its computer systems.
Online services and winning ticket validation was shut down late Saturday with a scheduled return of midday Monday, but the work was completed a little after 4 a.m.
ALC CEO Brent Scrimshaw said the upgrades will allow for new games that are becoming popular in the marketplace.
"Our players are looking for products that are skill-based, entertaining and interactive," Scrimshaw told CBC's Island Morning Monday.
"Quite frankly we need to stay with the times, particularly with the younger adults, the 19 to 35 group."
Scrimshaw added there are "hubs" of game development in Halifax and Moncton, where ALC is developing new entertainment-based games and running prototype tests in a small audience for test runs.
"That is an example of measured risks, going forward," Scrimshaw said, adding that was one lesson learned from the Geosweeps failure.
'Wonderful year' for ALC at Red Shores
ALC released its annual report Monday afternoon, with Scrimshaw saying profits are up $60 million over what they were five years ago.
The target for this past fiscal year, he said, was $415 million. Final numbers came in at $422 million.
He added that 27 per cent of sales on P.E.I. last year came from Red Shores Racetrack & Casino.
"This year we had a really wonderful year at Red Shores and that really made the difference for the Island," Scrimshaw said.
Scrimshaw addressed the question of launching new products in the wake of the major failure of Geosweep, which in 2015 cost the provinces of New Brunswick and P.E.I. $8 million.
He acknowledged Geosweep as a disappointing failure, but again referenced the overall success of ALC over the last five years.
"I think the province is looking at it in the context of the rest of what we do," Scrimshaw said.
"[Geosweep] doesn't diminish our need to be innovative and take calculated risks. I think as an organization we have matured in a big way."
Following the collapse of the Geosweep investment, Atlantic Canada's four auditors general performed an audit of ALC.
Scrimshaw said all the recommendations in the joint report of the auditors general have been implemented.
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