European Lotteries (EL) members have elected the organisation’s new Executive Committee, reappointing Hansjörg Höltkemeier as President for the period 2021-2023 at its recent virtual EL General Assembly.
Members also adopted the EL Resolution on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and made the Association’s Responsible Gaming Certification mandatory for all members. The General Assembly successfully brought together over 70 Members from across Europe.
Re-elected EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier said: ”For the second time in EL’s history, we held the 2021 General Assembly as a virtual edition. With the experience of last year, the Association decided on a digital but interactive way to connect with EL Members while at the same time striking the right balance between the “legal requirements” of a General Assembly and an attractive format.
“I am personally very happy to be re-elected as EL President. I am proud of what the Association has achieved, and which continues to work in a professional way. I look forward to fulfilling my responsibilities together with a strong and experienced Executive Committee, to serve for the benefit of society. Together we can turn uncertainties into new strength and provide new momentum that will take us into the world of tomorrow.”
The newly elected members of the EL Executive Committee are (in alphabetical order): Sazka’s Robert Chvatal, Totalizator Sportowy’s Olgierd Cieślik, Loterija Slovenije’s Romana Dernovšek, Loterie Nationale Loterij’s Jannie Haek, Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin’s Hansjörg Höltkemeier, SELAE’s Jesús Huerta Almendro, Loterie Romande’s Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, Hrvatska Lutrija’s Mario Musa, FDJ’s Stéphane Pallez, IGT Lottery’s Francesco Parola and Veikkaus Oy’s Olli Sarekoski.
Loterija Slovenije President & CEO and Supervisory Chair of the EL RG/CSR Working Group, Romana Dernovšek, commented that she was happy with the adoption of the mandatory RG Certification and the CSR Resolution.
She stated: ”We, Members of EL put our values first. Responsibility, sustainability, and integrity are the way we do business. By adopting the EL CSR Resolution and making the Responsible Gaming Certification mandatory, we have shown that we really do live up to these values.
“This is our way to continue prioritising the well-being of our players and to empower sustainability initiatives and programmes for the benefit of the society. I am proud to have been part of these processes and look forward to supporting all EL Members on our common journey.”
The General Assembly was scheduled to take place in Sibenik, Croatia as part of the EL Congress and Trade Show, but was moved virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.
To honour the occasion, former President of the Republic of Croatia and current member of the International Olympic Committee Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović gave a keynote that highlighted how sport has become more important than ever as well as the strong link between national lotteries and sports.
Grabar-Kitarović stated: ”Socially responsible companies play a major role in financing local sports, especially national lotteries which generate the necessary funds by organising games of chance. EL Members make a particularly significant contribution by paying more than €30bn (20% of the European Commission’s budget), into their countries’ state budgets.
“As much as 80% of their earnings is allotted to various economic and social causes, with sports receiving over €1.5bn annually. I strongly support the role of national lotteries in financing sports and am quite sure that there is ample room in that particular field for new ideas and cooperation models. I am looking forward to the fact that I myself will contribute to it all.”
The EL also welcomed NOVAMEDIA/Postcode Lotteries as a new Regular EL Member and Degree53 as a new Associate Member. A revised Responsible Gaming Certification Framework and changes to the EL Statutes were adopted – including the move of the Statutory seat from Switzerland to Belgium, the forming of an Advisory Board and making the statutes “pandemic proof’’.
The EL is now working towards the 2022 Industry Days in Wiesbaden, Germany and the 2023 Congress and Trade show in Sibenik, Croatia.