The event of the year for the lottery sector was no doubt the special 10th EL Congress from 26 to 29 May, hosted by the National Lottery of Belgium in Antwerp. Bringing together over 800 lottery professionals from across Europe and beyond, the Congress united the core lottery values and provided a forum for discussion and exchange on upcoming opportunities and challenges in the sector.
‘‘The Success of Chance’’ was the theme for this year’s unique 10th EL Congress, allowing participants to discover how chance plays an important role in their lives, both professionally and personally. The packed three-day programme included high-level speakers, panel debates, breakout sessions, advertising awards and a Trade Show. The Congress opened with a spectacular performance by Shelby Williams, ‘the Biscuit Ballerina’ and the Royal Ballet of Flanders, followed by an address by Mr. Hansjörg Höltkemeier, President of EL and Mr. Jannie Haek, CEO of the hosting National Lottery Belgium.
”Lotteries have been about chance and luck for centuries. We not only create winners; we also help to create new chances and support new opportunities. Chance is a part of Lotteries. Chance is a part of Success. Chance is also a part of Life.”
However, people often have a problem with the element of chance even though it is in our lives all the time. As chance is the core business of lotteries, Jannie believed it was important to choose a theme that could connect the experience of playing the lottery with the way the ‘‘success of chance’’ relates to all aspects of life.
Jannie Haek highlighted the notion that often people look down on lottery games as they like to believe it is about merit, and chance has nothing to do with success. But this is not the case. Life is full of uncertainty and chance. Its about chance, diversity, tolerance, ambition, innovation and survival… it is about the success of chance!
Give chance a chance!
Randomness and chance are central to our existence. Participants were reminded throughout the Congress that the element of chance and the element of luck are the core business of lotteries.
‘‘Organising chance is our job and that is an incredibly noble thing to do! When working hard, preparing well, being organised, looking for opportunities, … chance plays an essential role in life. When succeeding, people often tend to deny the importance of chance, coincidence, and luck. In case of misfortune, one counts on understanding, support, and new chances.’’ stated Jannie.
The Congress allowed participants to discover the importance of ‘chance’ it in their lives, both professional and personally.
Different perspectives on chance
The Congress speakers all related to the unifying principle of chance. Having this central theme for the Congress was important. Whether it was about democracy, innovation, diversity, luck, regulation, blockchain or responsible gaming, the special theme created a sense of continuity and coherence across the three days.
The Congress heard from individuals who described their experiences with chance – from recognising chance as a contributing factor to success – to experiences where chance had led to an unfortunate, and sometimes tragic circumstances but was turned into an advantage. You can read more about these topics in the focus themes of the magazine.
”Lottery is a metaphor for life. You play, you participate, you win, you lose, and you always start all over again.”