New technology sets stage for SD expansion into casino-type games
PIERRE -- The state Lottery Commission gave approval Wednesday to a test of high-speed data technology for video lottery establishments. The lottery's administrators and commissioners described it as the gate for offering new types of legalized gambling across South Dakota.
Ten locations will be the first recipients of the digital subscriber lines -- DSL, for short -- linking their video lottery terminals with the state agency's central computer.
The DSL technology will allow information to be exchanged in real time and make possible new games such as progressive slot-machine jackpots offered in casinos.
Establishment operators also could offer many different games on a single terminal using the DSL connections, Lottery Director Norm Lingle said.
"This is kind of the gateway to the future for our strategic plan," said Commissioner Roger Novotny, of Pierre.
The test project will cost the lottery an estimated $38,000.
The technology would be installed over about six weeks in January and February, according to Clark Hepper, the lottery's new deputy director. He is spearheading the project.
If the pilot proves successful, Lingle said lottery administrators will ask the commission next December for approval to go statewide to 1,500 establishments.
Full roll-out would cost an estimated $290,000 for equipment and programming. For the moment, the main purpose of the DSL technology is to replace the system used by the lottery agency to check nightly on the amount of daily action played on each video lottery terminal.
The lottery's computer system currently gathers that information by making telephone calls to each terminal.
Lingle said other benefits would be creation of what he described as a loyalty program and a players club system to track willing video lottery customers. Players club services and promotions often are offered by Deadwood casinos and other casinos throughout the nation.