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Fred Masterson

Director of Sales Force Automation, Maryland Lottery and Gaming

May 27, 2024

NASPL Insights Online

The lottery industry is full of quality employees who help their organizations reach full potential across the board, through a variety of skills and troubleshooting abilities. Yet it’s likely that few of those employees literally climb mountains to help solve problems. One such person is Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Fred Masterson, whose experience finding solutions while climbing up a sheer wall translates well to finding solutions for any terrestrial problem that comes up in his work for the Lottery.


“Quite simply, we are a better organization because of Fred. I guess you can say, we’re reaching new heights.” – John Martin

“Fred Masterson is one of the most dependable, reliable people I know,” says Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin. “Not just here at the Maryland Lottery, but anywhere. He has a calm, relatable demeanor that serves us well when he’s speaking with a retailer trying to solve their issue. He has embraced his role in bridging the gap between our field sales team and the evolving technology from our systems partner, Scientific Games. His ability to translate the benefits of our sales force automation tools into teaching points for our sales team really makes a difference in our retail success. Quite simply, we are a better organization because of Fred. I guess you can say, we’re reaching new heights.”


Masterson first joined the Maryland Lottery in 2008 as a District Manager, serving about 110 retailers. He came from 20+ years as a buyer in the retail industry, looking for a steady (non-commission) income and more time with his kids. “My experience as a buyer certainly gave me great insight to retailers,” he recalls. “Managing inventory, increasing sales and marketing products was so natural for me. I connected with retailers immediately, as we spoke the same language – retail sales!”



He progressed through the Lottery with positions as Corporate Sales Manager, Regional Manager, and Sales Support Manager. The latter role, focusing on various reporting and procedural developments, set him up for his current position as Director of Sales Force Automation. That came about at the Lottery’s last system conversion in 2018. He manages the gem|Suite system from Scientific Games, including testing, implementation and troubleshooting, and works closely with the Lottery’s Training Manager to develop standard operating procedures for staff who use the various system components.


When not hurdling over any work obstacles that may surface, Masterson literally climbs mountains. As a member of a local hiking and mountaineering group, he has traveled throughout the U.S. to climb even though he just got started about 14 years ago. “If we can find a rock somewhere and make a trip out of it, we’ll go. There is nothing more exhilarating than tying yourself to a rock or a tree, or putting a piece of gear in, and just leaning back and trusting what you did. I get such a rush from climbing.”


Although one of his greatest adventures was on Half Dome in Yosemite, where what should have been a straightforward climb turned into a precarious nighttime experience, he loves hiking and climbing around the world. A particular favorite is Nepal, where in 2022 he hiked to the Mount Everest base camp at 17,600 feet; his next goal there is Camp 2 at about 21,000 feet. “Nepal is a special place and the people are amazing.” It’s not surprising that he supports the Goli Trust, an organization that builds schools in the Everest region and supplies stoves for heating.



Last year, he hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at more than 19,000 feet, and with his wife Allison spent two weeks hiking in the Swiss Alps, visiting various towns and villages along the way. This fall the couple will be hiking around Banff in the Canadian Rockies.


He gladly shares his knowledge and love of climbing with others – he’s a Certified Climbing Wall instructor with the American Mountain Guide Association, and will be working on additional certifications in the future.


More down to Earth, Masterson volunteers for the Howard County (Maryland) Special Olympics group for an event called Over the Edge, where participants rappel off a building. He also goes bowling with special needs individuals of all ages. “It’s one of my favorite things to do.”


In his own neighborhood, about once every three months he walks roughly three miles to pick up trash that inevitably gets discarded by the side of the road, intentionally or accidentally. “It provides a little exercise and does a little good for the community.”


For about 10 years, Masterson had a part-time job at Suburban Hospital, working weekends supervising “patient transport” throughout the hospital. As a people person, he enjoyed meeting both staff and patients, and saw it through the challenging extreme protocols of the COVID-19 crisis.


Now, aside from Maryland Lottery duties, he’s mostly just living his best life with family. He has two adult daughters from a previous marriage, Savannah and Madison, and two grandkids courtesy of Madison. Allison, his wife of three years, has not only embraced hiking, she has become a baseball fan thanks to the Baltimore Orioles’ success last year. Masterson has always been passionate about baseball, and the couple now go to the team’s home games on Sundays. Completing the family is a rescued Shih Tzu named Angel.


Masterson has a Bachelor of Science in Management from Towson University.



In your years at the Maryland Lottery, what have been the most significant changes that made it easier/better for retailers to offer lottery products?

Over the last 16 years there have been many changes, and I feel technology has been the greatest factor. Self-service machines for customers have come a long way from the original instant ticket vending machines; today’s machines offer the full portfolio of games. The security and accounting features included in the newer self-service machines have helped retailers greatly, and they may even help them save on payroll.


In addition, these self-service machines have improved a lottery’s marketing efforts by providing a digital menu of advertisements. The need for paper POS is decreasing here in Maryland as we use more and more digital avenues – the benefits are so great with the ability to have products advertised at all retail locations at once versus the old days of dropping off POS materials.


All that said, as much as self-service machines have grown the business, there is still a great reliability on the retailer to maintain instant ticket stock in the machines. One of our goals here in Maryland is to reduce out-of-stocks, thus increasing sales. Training and educating retailers are the keys to doing that. I do not see a time where we will be at zero, but maintaining a single digit out-of-stock factor is a very attainable goal.



How do sales force automation developments improve the lottery/retailer relationship?

Using the sales force automation tool has both helped the Lottery manage the retailer base and opened up endless opportunities to help the retailers grow and manage their own businesses as well. It used to be that all the needed documentation for such things as retailer visits, credit requests, applications, etc., were on paper. Those days are a distant memory here in Maryland. For several years I have been on a push for little to no paper, and today almost everything is done electronically – retailer applications and approvals, for example, and the ongoing maintenance of our retailers. Our sales team has the ability to submit various forms (credits, work orders, deficiencies, audits) electronically. The tool also allows the analysis of games in close to real time. This is especially important in analyzing the various price points of instant tickets. We can let the retailer know where sales are strong or weak, and we can give the retailer insights about their sales compared to others in the area. The sales force tool gives management quick access to assess a particular territory to provide some direction to the local sales representative on items to focus on. The greatest benefit is that all this information is web-based so it can be accessed anytime, anywhere. You are almost on overload with all the information at your fingertips.


From your perspective, is there anything you wish that the Maryland Lottery, or lotteries in general, could do differently?

With each lottery run independently, it is hard to say anything can be changed across the board, since each state as its own rules and regulations and changes can be difficult. That being said, using focus groups certainly can give lotteries direction for product development and implementation. Remember, players are the lotteries’ lifeline, so listening and adapting to their needs is important. Keeping instant ticket products fresh is key, as games can get stale over time. Introducing various second chance-opportunities for stale games could breathe new life into the game. Educating legislators on the dynamics of online games is vital to adapting to today’s younger adult customers, and lotteries must provide that education to hopefully bring the best results. It is a difficult balance, as brick-and-mortar stores see online sales as a threat.


What do you like the most about working at the Maryland Lottery? The least?

Over the years I have met many people, often from different cultures. I have learned so much from each person I have encountered, and it has made me a better person. I am still in contact with some retailers I met in my very first year at the Lottery. Many of them call me just to say hello, or maybe ask for help on something. I really enjoy the people I work with and have developed many friendships.


I also love offering solutions to problems – working through the steps to resolve issues is really satisfying. There is always more than one way to solve things, and I love processes. It kind of relates to rock climbing, where we try to find solutions for climbing through a particular route. For the Lottery, I love digging into things and finding solutions when things come up.


I guess the only thing I might not like is that as a state agency, things often do move slowly. Being patient is hard at times; I’m not sure I will ever understand bureaucracy.


You’re an avid rock climber. How does that relate to your work life?

Climbing is my go-to exercise, three to four days a week, several hours each time. Yet most people think climbing is all physical, when it’s not. Climbing is a mental game, a puzzle – what is the best way to achieve the move or get to the top? Climbing helps you overcome fears and welcome challenges, and as noted above I take what I learn climbing and apply those same thoughts at work. No challenge is too big or too complicated, and there is always a way to get things done.              


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