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Premier Lotteries Ireland achieves the Responsible Gaming Certification for the fifth time

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.

Premier Lotteries Ireland, the Irish national lottery is Responsible Gaming certified for the fifth time. This is an excellent achievement which emphasises the importance of the core lottery value of responsibility.

In this interview, Susan Lawson, Responsible Play Manager at Premier Lotteries Ireland 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?

In my experience of recertification, time is of the essence, in previous years, we have found that situations can occur that steal time from the processes, putting the participating teams under pressure to complete. To combat these issues, PLI have the full or partial certification built into the roadmap for that year, the time frames are mapped out, and each element of the process has a step-by-step guide, which sit within the overall procedure. The certification never comes as a surprise to the areas of the business that are required to contribute to the recertification process.

Biggest lesson to learn is, engage with auditors and contributing teams long before the deadline to submit the report.

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?

In PLI we have a player protection panel, there has been some version of this for many years. The panel has evolved over the years and now covers all areas of the business, we meet every week, to look at product risk and player behaviours, sales, and promotions, we discuss individual areas as and when needed and make decisions based on the data in front of us. The standards are built into these meetings meaning the certification process has become less of a chore over the years and more of a Business as usual, we are all very familiar with it.

Reaching the fifth certification is a huge achievement. Did you set yourself specific goals this time and did you reach your expected results?

Having been a part of the EL working group that had worked to update the standards, when it came to the full certification using the new standards, we found the process was not only easier to follow and understand but that we had adopted these standards in our everyday approach to Player Protection or Responsible play, making the recertification process a natural process to complete.

What was the most difficult part of the fifth certification and how did you overcome it?

To be honest, this was most probably the most seamless certification we have undertaken, but I think that was because we learnt a lesson in 2022 when carrying out the partial certification. Due to staff holidays and staff changes with our auditors, the final report missed the deadline. This became an unnecessarily stressful task, and we could have been penalised for it.

This prompted us to expand the timeframes for future certifications.

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?

PLI’s licence states that the Irish nation lottery must be certified to the highest level of ELA /WLA standards, we have used this to our advantage, by integrating the standards into everyday Player Protection products and processes in both retail and digital, we are proud to point out to stakeholders that we have the highest certification. Any new features or products that are introduced to the lottery must meet or go beyond what is expected.

What advice do you have for EL Members concerning their (re)-certification process?

Embrace the standards and build them into you day to day business, we take great pride when informing stakeholders that we have the highest-level certification, and we strive to improve constantly.

Do not see the standards as a tick box or an inconvenience, but as a foundation on which you build on to protect player and the business.