European Lotteries (EL) members raised over €16bn for good causes and societal benefits during 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic hampering business.
Publishing its Report on the Lottery Sector in Europe in 2020, EL confirmed that 52% of the GGR generated by its members went back to society in the respective countries.
Furthermore, member lotteries found new ways to benefit good causes in non-financial ways throughout the pandemic, including increasing the provision of medical supplies to hospitals, food deliveries to the most vulnerable, health awareness campaigns and the support of employees and retail network partners.
Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary-General, praised the work that EL members did during a period of significant difficulties to uphold the social responsibilities of national lotteries throughout the year.
‘‘There is no doubt that COVID-19 had an impact on the lottery sector with differentiating effects of the lockdowns on the game verticals in the various jurisdictions,” he commented.
“Yet national lotteries found innovative solutions to continue regulated services to their players. The online channel was further developed as a safe alternative, and campaign strategies were adapted to consider the ‘new normal’ and provide increased support to impacted communities across Europe.”
The pandemic posed financial challenges across the continent, resulting in a total GGR decrease of 14.8% compared with 2019, following a sustained period of year-on-year growth in the previous years.
However, the convergence of the pandemic and the rapid growth of technology use in the lottery sector caused an online GGR of €3.6bn across EL members, representing 11.7% of total GGR in 2020 and a 25.7% year-on-year increase.
Breaking down the largest contributing countries, France was the biggest contributor to good causes with €3.2bn, Germany contributed €3.1bn and Spain was the third biggest contributor with €2.5bn. Across the 27 EU member states that reported its figures, the average amount that EL Members in the EU paid back to society and good causes was €32 per capita.
EL also noted the work its members did to sustain employment on the continent throughout 2020 when many people lost their jobs due to adverse economic conditions. It highlighted that the 46 EL Members operating in the EU directly employed 42,206 full-time employees, while all 65 reporting EL Members were employing 47,727 full-time employees.
“The latest data collected by EL takes in account the non-standard and unprecedented circumstances of 2020, the first time that the lottery sector has been hit by a global pandemic,” added Václav Štěpán, Executive Chair of the EL Data & Research Working Group.
“The collaboration and knowledge sharing among EL Members, intensified during the COVID-19 impact period, is the big strength of The European Lotteries Association membership.”