At the time of writing the 2019 Annual Report, the world faced the pandemic spread of Covid-19. In only a few weeks, businesses, and society came to a near full standstill in an attempt to halt the virus. The consequences, as well as the never before seen measures to deal with this situation, were felt by lotteries, and no doubt case a shadow over the 2020 developments in the sector. Nonetheless, EL reflects on a successful 2019 and is pleased to present an overview of its activities, which would not have been possible without the ongoing support of EL Members.
2019 saw the 10th EL Congress and Trade Show in Antwerp, hosted by the Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale of Belgium, bringing together over 800 attendees. United in their core values, the Congress paid homage to that one element that is at the core base of the lottery sector; chance, and more specifically, the ‘‘Success of Chance’’.
During the General Assembly, EL Members elected a new Executive Committee and the re-appointment of Hansjörg Höltkemeier as EL President (2019-2021). EL Members also adopted the Antwerp Resolution calling for a risk-based approach towards advertisement restrictions for games a chance – a hot topic for 2019.
In parallel to the General Assembly, a new European Parliament was elected with a new European Commission taking officer later in the year, headed by President von der Leyen. Throughout 2019 EL, in close collaboration with the Public Affairs Coordination (PAC) Working Group updated relevant advocacy materials for policymakers. Relevant EU dossiers were followed, with EL’s advocacy role continuously based on the importance of a sustainable lottery model for the benefit of society and the principle of subsidiarity. EL also supported various Members with regulatory discussions at national level.
Looking back at 2019, EL is proud of its many activities and achievements as an Association. Lottery professionals had the chance to participate in all sectors of interest from marketing, innovation, sports betting to responsible gaming, legal and retail. The EL education programme continued with the first-ever Executive Module of the EL Corporate University (ELCU), and EL launched the Women’s Lottery Leadership (WiLL) Mentoring Pilot Programme in Europe.
2019 saw the historic entry into force of the Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (Macolin Convention). Since the conceptualisation and drafting phase of the Convention, the global lottery community
– through EL, together with the Global Lotteries Monitoring System (GLMS) and the World Lottery Association (WLA) – has fully supported the initiative and assisted the CoE in its effort to promote the Convention. National lotteries have always been historic partners of sport and EL works to fight match fixing and to safeguard these values.
During the year, EL took further steps regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) with its newly published CSR Guidelines. On responsible gaming, 63% of Members were certified in 2019 with the Commitment Level bringing newly certified EL Members. On innovation, EL conducted a study on blockchain developments and to further improve the knowledge and data sharing, a Socio-economic impact study was issued, the legal study was updated, and a study was done on the various taxation models under the EL Members. The fight against illegal operators is a priority for EL and 2019 saw a newly formed Taskforce on Illegal Gambling.
EL continued with important partnerships including with ENGSO, GLMS, WLA, the European Commission led-initiative European Week of Sport, the ASPIRE project and the Annual Holiday Lottery Responsible Gaming Campaign. The Association also stepped up its communications efforts with a revival of its social media channels, a weekly EL News Briefing for Members, and an increase in engagement with the EL website, digital magazine, and media outlets.
This is the second EL Annual Report, which thanks again EL Members, the Executive Committee, Working Groups, the EL team and Partners for all their support in 2019. It was an exciting year and we hope you enjoy reading about our activities, with always one motto in mind –for the benefit of society!