Vending machines for lotto and scratch tickets will be tried in some South Dakota locations

Capitol News Bureau

A mockup of the Genesis Ultra terminal the South Dakota Lottery plans to have placed in some of its top-selling retail locations in the coming months. Image courtesy of South Dakota Lottery.

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Details are still taking shape. But come spring, look for vending machines offering South Dakota Lottery products in businesses where they’re already sold over the counter.

The state Lottery Commission heard about the plan Thursday from executive director Norm Lingle.

He said IGT plans to make 50 of the Gemini Ultra player-activated vending terminals available for selling lotto products and scratch tickets.

They’ll be equipped with bar-code scanners to read driver licenses and won’t work unless the license is for a person at least 18 years old.

That’s the legal age for people to buy those types of South Dakota Lottery products.

 “Very good from a responsible gambling standpoint,” Lingle said.

The machines also can be disabled by store clerks.

Some of the decisions yet to be made are where the machines will be in stores and whether the devices need to be within sightlines of clerks behind the counters.

Lingle said the machines will be good additions in the current COVID-19 conditions because they’ll be some distance away from the counter — “This really helps keep social distancing in place.” — and can be easily cleaned and disinfected.

IGT has the contract currently for servicing South Dakota Lottery’s lotto and scratch tickets and will work with existing retailers to supplement their sales, according to Lingle.

He said some retailer chains have already shown interest, with IGT predicting 7% growth in sales. Testing comes next, with a target date of April 1 to have the terminals in the field.

“Excited about the opportunity,” Lingle told the commission.

David Wheeler of Huron, who was serving at his last commission meeting after winning election to the South Dakota Senate last month, asked where the vending terminals can be in a location. Lingle replied, “We’ll work with the retailer to find a location that works best for them as well as for us.”

Wheeler, an attorney, said there needs to be “a good way” to vet underage players. Lingle said the license-reader was essential.

Another commissioner, Joe Kafka of Valley Springs, asked who pays for the machines. “This is at no cost to the lottery,” Lingle said.

He explained retailers would still get 5% sales commission and winner-selling bonuses, while IGT would still receive its 7.22 % payment, and there wouldn’t be any cost to the retailers.  

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