The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has launched a new mobile application – AR Lottery + Club – with the aim of making it easier for players to use and providing several new features.
The new app is available from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Mike Smith, the lottery’s gaming director, said the app was made available to the public on Jan. 27 and in the first week alone, over 100,000 tickets were checked using the new ticket checking feature.
“In the first week the app launched, we saw a 31% increase in new users compared to the week before,” he said in a written statement on Thursday. “1,919,761 tickets were entered into the program in the first month using the new app, compared to 1,842,017 tickets the month before.”
A lottery provider, Scientific Games International, has developed the new app for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery to offer players more convenience in connecting to the lottery, its games and its player loyalty program, the club, Scientific Games International, said in a press release on Wednesday .
“The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery wanted to offer our players a modern experience and a convenient, easy way to connect to our gaming and loyalty club from their mobile device,” Smith said in the press release.
“With the new app, players can easily verify tickets with the ticket validator and create digital tickets from the comfort of their phones,” he said.
Biometric login makes it easy for players to access their club account through the new app, Smith said.
The app’s brand new ticket verification feature will allow players to quickly check if their tickets are winners, he said. Players can also use the app to create digital tickets that store their lucky numbers and game options, then scan the QR code at any Arkansas Scholarship Lottery retailer to quickly purchase games, he said.
As with the lottery’s previous version of the app, players can connect to the club to enter non-winning instant tickets into Play It Again drawings and other second chance promotions, Smith said. You can also enter eligible instant and terminal generated tickets to earn points toward prizes redeemable in the online store. The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Mobile App has been available to players since 2015.
In 2009, Scientific Games and the Arkansas Lottery launched the first lottery loyalty program in the United States, according to Scientific Games International. The lottery’s loyalty program is one of the most successful in the industry, according to the company, with more than 101.5 million tickets added to the program since its inception, and the program has awarded more than 1.2 billion points to players, to redeem points for prizes in science games’ online store.
Lottery director Eric Hagler said the lottery worked on the new app for about a year before launching two months ago.
He noted that lottery players “still cannot purchase tickets through the mobile app at this time.”
In March 2020, the lottery launched a pilot program with Jackpocket Inc. to offer the sale of lottery games through a mobile app, but according to the lottery, a physical ticket generated by a licensed lottery retailer is required.
Only raffle tickets can be purchased through Jackpocket, but Winners Corner in Little Rock is Jackpocket’s licensed retailer and the store sells instant tickets on-site, said Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the state Treasury and Administration Department.
In its strategic plan for the next five years, developed last year, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery says it will be necessary for the Arkansas General Assembly to consider authorizing the lottery to launch an iLottery digital ticket-selling platform in order to remain competitive stay and keep up with consumer demand .
No legislation was introduced in this year’s regular session to authorize an iLottery digital platform.
The lottery is currently authorized to distribute lottery games through a single distribution channel from brick-and-mortar retail outlets, the lottery said in its strategic plan, which its management identified as one of four key weaknesses.
Hagler said in December that the lottery was prepared for any eventuality. “If there is no desire for iLottery, then we have a way forward in mono-channel,” he said in a written statement at the time. “If iLottery is authorized, we will also carry out this mandate.”
The lottery’s key term contracts expire in calendar year 2026, Hagler said.
“If iLottery is desired, the ideal time would be to align the launch with the implementation of new term contracts in 2026,” he said in December. “This would mean that the lottery would have to be approved in 2025 to prepare for launch sometime in [calendar year] 2026-2027.”
Hardin said Friday, “Regarding iLottery, the lottery’s position hasn’t changed since late 2022.”
The lottery began selling tickets on September 28, 2009.
It has helped fund Arkansas Academic Challenge scholarships for more than 30,000 students in eleven of the last twelve fiscal years.