Canadian lottery supplier Pollard Banknote has said that it will be able to leverage the successful approach used by William Hill in both its retail and online business to the benefit of the North American lottery industry following the UK bookmaker’s recent investment in NeoGames.

Earlier this month, William Hill acquired a 29.4 per cent stake in iLottery solutions provider NeoGames, with an option to acquire the remaining 70.6 per cent within five years.

Pollard Banknote welcomed NeoGames’ new equity investor and said that the company’s North American joint venture with NeoGames, NeoPollard Interactive, would be able to benefit from William Hill’s expertise in its retail and online gaming businesses.

"This minority investment in NeoGames by a major investor like William Hill is a testament to the emergence and future growth opportunity of the digital lottery market in North America," said Doug Pollard, co-CEO of Pollard Banknote.

"With this investment, NeoPollard Interactive will maintain its current ownership structure and marketing and operational executives, while also leveraging the expertise and financial strength of William Hill through our joint venture with NeoGames to continue to lead the industry with the most robust and successful digital offerings available in the market today.

“NeoPollard Interactive retains its focus on lotteries while adding a new, positive voice that will help contribute to overall North American iLottery success."

The JV was agreed in April 2014 following the winning of a joint bid to provide online lottery services for the newly launched Michigan Lottery.

A new gaming platform was soft-launched by the lottery last November, with visitors to the lottery's website introduced to the online games option by a "buy online" tab added to the Michigan Lottery's homepage.

Since its launch, Pollard said that the Michigan Lottery has achieved record levels of iLottery sales via mobile and internet channels, while at the same time generating double-digit growth of retail sales.

William Hill CEO James Henderson said: “We are very excited to partner with NeoGames and, with our investment, indirectly with Pollard Banknote in the emergent online lottery market through NeoPollard Interactive.

“The iLottery market in North America is an exciting opportunity. NeoPollard Interactive has already established itself as a major presence, and we look forward to their continued success."

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