New Zealand Lotteries

mylotto.co.nz/

NZ Lotteries is a Crown Entity with a Government-appointed Board of Directors. The organisation was established in 1987 and operates under the Gambling Act 2003. Their function is to operate lottery games in New Zealand in order to raise money to benefit the community. Their primary goal is to continue to generate improved earnings so that they are able to maximise the contribution they make to the Lottery Grants Board.

In July 2012, the NZ Lotteries website had over 200,000 registered users and generates 5% of the overall NZ Lotteries revenue.

Business goals

  • The ability to dynamically change the content and to have control over the environment
  • A mobile site that gives players the ability to purchase on this site
  • Provide accessibility across desktop, tablets and smartphones
  • Merge mylotto.co.nz and nzlotteries.co.nz

What we did

During an 18 month project, with eight people working full-time and three part-time, SilverStripe redeveloped the mylotto.co.nz website. As with all the sites that SilverStripe builds, the NZL website is based on the open source Content Management System (CMS) SilverStripe.

  • SilverStripe had to pass two independent security assessments to fulfill the project requirements, arguably making the site more secure than a banking site. While the website communicates with the gaming engine, in order to display results or sign up new users, it also bans any possible external influence on the gaming engine.
  • SilverStripe programmed the gaming mechanism that allows users to pick their numbers and buy a ticket through the website. The business rules for each game are defined with around 50 pages of specs. The SilverStripe team dealt with 20 specs from up to 250 pages covering all business rules for each individual game. The developers had to consider everything that people will or will not do and act accordingly by fulfilling the user commands or displaying error messages.
  • The site is optimised to perform well in high user traffic times. In peak times, such as a jackpot drawing, the site deals with 480,000 pageviews per hour.
  • When logging into their account, users get the Enhanced Draw Experience. The numbers roll in to simulate the actual drawing. All sites are now programmed in HTML5 and Javascript to replace the former Flash sites. As a result, the design can be easily changed in the back-end and will also be displayed on any smartphone. The new site is flexible and makes it easy to add visual and sound effects.
  • The admin can configure promotions, game information, user messages, news ticker and set up email notifications to inform players about the results and big jackpots.
  • All content can be timed with a start and end date, and can be published and unpublished automatically according to the content authors needs.
  • Drawing videos are easy to upload for the admin, making the CMS more user friendly. A timer counts how much time is left till the next draw.
  • NZ Lotteries now has a mobile site. The third party built site is based on the SilverStripe desktop site. SilverStripe built a mobile API to make the app talk to the desktop site and/or gaming machine whenever a user wants to add Lotto rows to their account. The API sets up the site for further mobile application development at NZ Lotteries.
  • SilverStripe merged mylotto.co.nz, the actual gaming platform, with the corporate site nzlotteries.co.nz. The content from both sites was merged into one.

Challenges

All the features in the CMS are 100% customised to the NZ Lotteries business model. There are a huge amount of business rules that apply for the entire gaming engine.

Lotteries has very high compliance standards when it comes to QA requirements. The entire project had more testers on the team than developers. The complexity for this 18 month project was huge and it was a big challenge to predict every detail.

Measures of success

Since the re-launch of MyLotto in July 2012, site accessibility for NZ Lotteries customers has been greatly improved. MyLotto now provides a modern and dynamic web presence that allows customers to buy tickets and check results across all of their devices such as PC's, tablets and smartphones. Limited access to MyLotto from tablets and other idevices was a continued source of frustration and NZ Lotteries has been able to address these concerns and improve the online experience for their customers.

The SilverStripe open source CMS that MyLotto is built upon gives website administrators greater control of the entire site. The flexible CMS interface makes it easy for NZ Lotteries staff to manage all aspects of the site, such as configuring promotions, game information, user messages, news items and email notifications. The improved turnaround time for updating content keeps MyLotto fresh, new and exciting for regular online players.

"We are proud to have partnered with a New Zealand company to provide our customers with a modern web presence that allows them to play across all of their devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. The SilverStripe CMS provides a flexible, easy interface for our staff to manage all aspects of the site.”

Ben Coney
General Manager – Direct Channels, NZ Lotteries