Lottery Association Leverages PCATS

NASPL's NSI helps standardize reporting

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio -- The North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), through the NASPL Standards Initiative (NSI), has developed and recently approved a standard for retail accounting reports in the lottery industry that ultimately will reduce the cost of adapting to unique jurisdictional reporting.

The NSI, through its Technical Standards Working Group and Retail Council, developed this common specification for lotteries, vendors and retail-lottery agents, which, over time can result in eXtensible Markup Language (XML)[image-nocss] -based lottery-retail accounting reports that are standard across the lottery industry. Retailers operating in multiple lottery jurisdictions will be able to build applications that use one format for lottery-retailer accounting reports regardless of the jurisdiction with which they are interfacing.

This NSI standard is based on the PCATS-NAXML standard that was developed by the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS). The PCATS-NAXML standard was first designed by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) to provide data to retailers in a format that can easily be incorporated into accounting systems.

This project will ensure a standardized meaning for all data items pertaining to accounting reports across the lottery industry. By providing a common reporting format across all jurisdictions XML will reduce the cost of adapting to unique jurisdictional reporting. Lotteries will be able to use the same data elements and definitions for non-XML reports-ensuring independent retailer's benefit also.

NASPL and PCATS will continue to coordinate efforts related to the evolution and maintenance of the two standards. This will assure that as the NASPL standard evolves to meet the specific reporting needs of lotteries, lottery-retail agents and lottery vendors and as the PCATS standard evolves to meet the more general needs of the retailers the two standards will remain in sync.

The NASPL NSI has produced a guideline for the use of PCATS-NAXML for lottery accounting and reconciliation. This action further demonstrates the value of the investment in technology standards that retailers and suppliers alike have made over the course of the previous nine years and are continuing to make through PCATS membership, said PCATS.