Committed to addressing illegal gambling and related criminal activities while minimising any potential harm on society, EL has developed a Standard that aims to promote the adoption of best practices across the EL membership: the EL Responsible Gaming Certification.
Latvijas Loto, the Latvian national lottery is Responsible Gaming certified for the fifth time, reaching an 100% score in every section. This is an excellent achievement which emphasises the importance of the core lottery value of responsibility.
In this interview, Paula Podoļska, Head of CSR & Quality department at Latvijas Loto tells us all about the growing activities of the lottery in the field of responsible gaming and the developments over the past years since its first EL Responsible Gaming Certification.
Your lottery has been certified for the fifth time. How did the process differ from previous certifications? What are the biggest lessons learnt?
This time we created specific RG working group, that consisted of representatives from different departments to have bigger added value when there are decisions taken regarding RG. This helped with setting goals, evaluate existing RG system (programme) and to have fresh perspective on RG matters. Also, we paid a lot more attention to employee training to get everyone onboard with new certification framework as well as player education and available tools in digital channels. It is also worth mentioning that our legislation in the field of lotteries is also facing changes therefore further on certification for RG standard will be even more important in our operations.
Could you tell us about your progress since the first certification? What has changed and how did you grow and learn in the past 13 years?
Latvijas Loto, being a member of EL, adheres to the values of EL in its activities, which form the guiding principle of the lottery company's operation – organizing national lotteries for the benefit of society. It is in company’s core to be responsible and care towards our clients since the very beginning. And it is in our interests to direct consumers to play in a socially responsible way, in a safe, transparent, and legal environment. Latvijas Loto gives high priority for customer protection and responsible gaming in all the company's operational processes. Certifications since the very beginning and nowadays help us to review our actions and evaluate what is done and what still needs to be done regarding RG, look through key questions, set goals to safeguard society and be more equipped with better tools for it. It is truly ongoing process.
Reaching the fifth certification is a huge achievement. Did you set yourself specific goals this time and did you reach your expected results?
It is indeed huge achievement to receive score of 100% in all applicable sections of the framework, and we are proud of it! We always strive for the best results and every time set even higher goals. We work towards continuous improvement of RG programme. And results clearly show our deep commitment to RG matters. Being a company, whose biggest part of turnover comes from Internet, we paid special attention towards for customer protection in digital environment and developed specific IT tools. We introduced new tools that provides more transparency regarding their spending and let them make their own informed decisions regarding their play.
What was the most difficult part of the fifth certification and how did you overcome it?
The new certification framework is a lot more specific regarding setting goals and monitoring overall system operation. As well as more demanding regarding requirements in the section – Digital channels, regarding monitoring risky behaviours and/or at-risk players in the digital player base. As previously mentioned, continuous discussions and sessions in the working group as well as communication with other EL members in the lottery field helped us on the way to fulfil these requirements.
What was the added value for your lottery in being certified for a fifth time? For example, how does it influence your daily business - retail outlets, product development, relation with stakeholders?
Being certified for the 5th time shows our values and dedication to become even better in the RG realm.
It is visible that our stakeholders value that, trust our products/services and even as a result improve their own processes. When survey our stakeholders, we can see that they mention Latvijas Loto as one of the most progressive state-owned companies that understand the importance of compliance with various international requirements and standards.
What advice do you have for EL Members concerning their (re)-certification process?
From our experience it is highly recommended to involve more employees and other stakeholders in the decision-making process of RG matters, ask for advice from more experienced EL lottery members with in depth knowledge in RG programme development. Set specific goals, plan activities, document processes, check on execution regularly, and inform others about your work and success.