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Press Release 26 Jan 2023

New EL Report - EL Members contribute 20 billion EUR to benefit society in 2021, amid crisis

The EL Report on the Lottery Sector in Europe 2021 is the 16th Report published with the objective to help you understand how current EL Members worked and what their contributions to society.

Brussels, 26 January 2023 - As in the previous year, 2021 was like no other, influenced by COVID-19 as a non-standard event. Although less than in 2020, there was no doubt an impact on lottery operations and performance, with continued lockdowns and retail network limitations. In addition, the world faced economic, environmental, and societal challenges.

Yet, despite the unfavourable situation, national lotteries continued to find new and innovative ways to continue to provide regulated services to their players and increased efforts to help society and impacted communities. There was an attitude to be flexible and agile, adapt to unforeseen circumstances and to stand together for the benefit of society.

”In 2021 we saw a 5.1 percent higher contribution from EL Members to society, compared to the pre-COVID period of 2019. This proves the important financial role that national lotteries play to society in times of need. Since the start of the pandemic, EL Members have continued to live up to their values and upheld their historic support to communities across Europe, while at the same time maintaining the highest level of integrity, responsibility, and consumer protection.”
Arjan van 't veer

Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General

In 2021 funds were channelled towards culture and heritage projects, sport, health, education, other funds for good causes and taxes for treasuries. 

The contribution to society by all EL Members reporting the category (67 in total) amounted to €20 bn in 2021, an increase of 13 percent compared to 2020 and of 10 percent compared to 2019. It means that 55.6 percent of the GGR generated by EL Members (not including sponsorships) went back to society in the respective countries.

The 49 EL Members in the EU (that reported their contributions) amounted to €17.9bn, more than 12.6 percent compared to 2020 and 10.6 percent to 2019. The largest EU member states, where the amounts provided by EL Members to society exceeded €2.0bn were the following: France with €3.8bn, Spain with €3.6bn and Germany with €3.2bn.

EL Report 2021 figure 1a.png
EL Report 2021 figure 2b.png

Sales for the three main categories of games (draw based, instant and sports games) by EL Members in the EU amounted to €89.7bn in 2021, showing a significant increase compared to Covid-impacted 2020 of 25.5 percent and 12.7 percent in comparison with 2019. This trend was similar when considering all EL Members in total, where total sales amounted to €105.8bn, resulting in a year-on-year increase of 23.1 percent in comparison with 2020 and 11.8 percent in comparison with 2019.

Another important contribution of the EL Members is the contribution to employment in their respective countries. In 2021, the 48 EL Members operating in the EU directly employed 44,689 full-time employees, with all 68 reporting EL Members employed 49,567 full-time employees, out of which women represented 50 percent.

Finally, as responsible gaming activities are an integral part of the EL Members’ business, the EL Members continued to emphasise and spend on measures to prevent problem gambling also in 2021. Since the EL Responsible Gaming (RG) Certification became mandatory in 2020, 93 percent of EL Members are now RG certified.

Overall national lotteries have recovered well from the COVID impact. 2021 saw the highest GGR year in history and lotteries succeeded in continuing growing and generating revenue for good causes, all for the benefit of society.

EL Report on the Lottery Sector in Europe 2021


  1. The EL Data & Research WG (D&R WG) is responsible for collecting and sharing data among the EL community, covering land-based and online sales and GGR, money for good causes, employment and other selected KPIs. The data is collected online and aggregated by an independent third party, based on which D&R WG publishes the yearly report already for 15 consecutive years.
  2. After a significant total GGR decrease of 14.3 percent in 2020 compared with 2019 (based on 68 reporting EL Members), despite the partial Covid-19 impact, the year 2021 delivered total GGR growth of 13.3 percent compared with 2020 but ending below the 2019 level by 2.9 percent. The 2021 Report considers the trends related this non-standard impact. In total, across all EL Members (53 reported) there was an average of 102% fulfilment of their total GGR planned for 2021, while their planed retail GGR was fulfilled on average 99% and their planed online GGR was fulfilled on average 108 percent.


Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson, Communications Officer, EL, lucy.mathieson@european-lotteries.eu