Lotto NZ, which was recently beset by payment processing delays, is going to market for new gaming technology as its existing contract heads towards expiry.
The organisation's gaming technology contract is set to expire in 2024, so it is preparing to approach the market "in the near future", an advance notice of tender said.
The notice described the services required as "broad", covering all of its gaming environment. Any supplier would therefore have to be able to deliver a swathe of systems from retail point of sale terminals and peripherals to a core gaming system, content, analytics payment support, cloud-based hosting and security.
Earlier this year, Reseller News reported a $17.5 million blowout in the cost of a project replace Lotto NZ's interactive gaming system. Originally budgeted at $11.9 million and supposed to have been completed in October 2019, the expected cost was revised to $29.4 million and the go-live date to May this year.
The project, to upgrade the MyLotto website and app in partnership with Italian supplier IGT, aimed to ensure back-end processes were robust and able to deal with higher traffic online, a Parliamentary report said.
"The impact of COVID-19 has led to a rapid acceleration in Lotto NZ’s digital transformation, which has added time, complexity and cost to the project."
The pandemic lockdowns accelerated a shift to online play in 2020, from 18 per cent of Lotto NZ's business after 13 years of operation to around 40 per cent in nine months. This required Lotto to revise its requirements for performance and scalability.
Lockdowns also meant the organisation had to deliver the project with remote support from IGT rather than on-site support.
Increased demand also required reconfiguration of existing networks between Lotto NZ's primary and backup datacentres.
Lotto NZ's systems struggled to manage traffic and payments processing as the prize draw rocketed last week. The organisation attributed the problems to its payments partners, who it said had experienced delays with their card processing systems.
"As you will know, the Powerball jackpot was $42 million on Wednesday, and as a result we sold three times as many tickets to that draw as we would sell on an average Wednesday night draw," Lotto NZ explained. "Many customers came online at the last minute to purchase a ticket."
In 2018, Lotto NZ established its own specialised ICT hardware procurement panel.