High-Tech Security Stands Guard Over Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

by George Waldon  on Monday, Sep. 28, 2009 12:00 am  

Lance Huey, left, director of security for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, and Remmele Mazyck, deputy security director, watch over the launch of the state's first four games.

About 1,700 retailers have applied to sell lottery tickets and plug into the system. The first tickets, scheduled to go on sale Monday, will cost $1, $2 or $5, with cash prizes ranging from $1 to $100,000.

Despite weather delays in setting up the satellite-linked stations, lottery officials expect to have 1,500 outlets operational when the lottery starts play with four instant-win games: "Arkansas Riches," "Cash Bonanza," "Jumbo Bucks" and "3 Times Lucky."

"There are no deal-killers on the horizon to not launch on [schedule]," Huey said last week. "We'll probably have some snafus right off the bat, but we will have extra security measures in place to help work through the problems."

David Barden, vice president of gaming at the Arkansas Lottery, said the current rollout of equipment includes ticket-reading equipment, so customers can check their own tickets and verify their winnings.

"Without it, there's more of an opportunity for a bad retailer to not pay properly or not pay at all," said Barden, who came to Arkansas from South Carolina with Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue. "It also keeps people from standing in line to have their ticket checked, so retailers don't have to spend any extra time with this.

"We didn't have that in South Carolina, and it was something we always wanted to do. We had started the process but hadn't finished."

The equipment is part of a $15 million-plus build-out of the state's lottery network by Intralot, with worldwide headquarters in Athens, Greece, and U.S. operations based in Atlanta.

The company operates a data center in North Little Rock's Northshore Industrial Park, which mirrors the lottery's data center in downtown Little Rock. Among other things, the Intralot facility serves as a system backup.

"We do our own firewalls," said Steve Beck, regional director for Intralot. "It's our proprietary software also. That includes accounting, licensing. Anything that has to do with a retailer comes through our office."

The company expects to build a staff of up to 40 that will include 13 field technicians and 20 programmers as part of its seven-year Arkansas contract. Intralot also has lottery contracts in Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire and Louisiana.

No Badges?

Lance Huey, the amiable former Grant County sheriff, was hired for his good rapport with law enforcement officials around the state as much as his law enforcement background.



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