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The WEEK in REVIEW
Vol. 91 No.12A - Monday June 22, 2020

 

 

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Lotos Xi Launch

 

INTRALOT Introduces Lotos Xi

The powerful solution meets the needs of Digital Lotteries to drive innovation and provide a unified player experience.

ATHENS, Greece (June 17, 2020) -- INTRALOT is proud to present its latest state-of-the-art digital lottery solution, Lotos Xi, designed to drive efficiency of the Lottery operators and provide a unified player experience, by offering fast and engaging content in a simplified manner across channels.

Lotos Xi enables the operator to define and offer subscriptions for any available game and manage its content, allowing full localization and parametrization of the user interface. Characterized by an omni-channel philosophy and offering a wide range of innovative and engaging games, along with player experience personalization through data analytics, creates value both for the operator and the player.

Like all next-generation INTRALOT solutions, Lotos Xi is infrastructure-agnostic with an architecture that safeguards the seamless integration with existing platforms and ensures end-to-end integrity and responsible gaming. Its seamless integration with Lotos X Orchestrator enables a set of independent microservices which ensures fast and easy integration with the Lotos X family of products and any 3rd-party platforms/systems, allowing a best-of-breed approach and quick time-to-market. It is an end-to-end solution offered on cloud, on-premise, or hybrid configurations.

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Our digital technology empowers lotteries all over the world ensuring that our customers are equipped with cutting-edge solutions and services to drive their digital transformation and sustainable growth," said Dr. Chris Dimitriadis, INTRALOT Group CEO. “Utilizing the power of digital gaming creates valuable opportunities for lotteries to broaden their player base by attracting a more digitally savvy audience, while engaging their current players through a stronger omnichannel relationship with their brand.”

Responding to the current global challenging times, INTRALOT’s Lotos Xi is proven to support innovation and growth across both retail and digital, and provide a unified player experience,” said Nikos Nikolakopoulos, INTRALOT Executive VP, Group Chief Commercial Officer. “We gear up for the digital lottery era with a ready-made solution that has secured already its deployment in four operators to drive their performance and accelerate benefits to the communities they serve.

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active in 44 regulated jurisdictions around the globe. With €0.7 billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately 3,800 employees (2,200 of which in subsidiaries and 1,600 in associates) in 2019, INTRALOT is an innovation - driven corporation focusing its product development on the customer experience. The company is uniquely positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations across geographies market-tested solutions and retail operational expertise. The company has designed a new ecosystem of holistic omni-channel solutions across verticals (Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT) for Lotteries digital transformation. INTRALOT has been awarded the prestigious WLA Responsible Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery Association (WLA) and the WLA certificate for the Security Control standard.

For more information: Ms. Chryssa Amanatidou, Group Corporate Affairs Director, Phone: +30 2106156000, Fax: +30 2106106800, email: press_office@intralot.com.

SOURCE: INTRALOT (www.intralot.com).

 

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CA$3.2 Million in Life-Changing Jackpots Won on IGT Powerbucks® Wheel of Fortune® Slots in Three Days

Ontario slot player wins record-setting CA$2.2 million jackpot on IGT’s omnichannel progressive link for Canada on PlayOLG.ca; second PlayOLG player wins CA$1 million on same link just days later

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LONDON, U.K. (June 15, 2020) –  International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT) today announced that a CA$2,256,578 jackpot had been won on its Powerbucks® Wheel of Fortune® Exotic Far East slots game by an Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) PlayOLG.ca player on May 26, 2020. The colossal win marks the largest jackpot ever won from IGT’s Powerbucks omnichannel progressive link for Canada.

Just three days later, on May 29, 2020, a second PlayOLG online slots player won a CA$1,015,561 jackpot while playing Powerbucks Wheel of Fortune Hawaiian Getaway.

These two jackpots combine for more than CA$3.2 million in top prize wins for PlayOLG.ca slot players via IGT’s award-winning Powerbucks link in just three days.

“OLG introduced IGT’s Powerbucks game several months ago and our players were drawn to its exciting opportunity to win life-changing jackpots at any bet level,” said Kim Clark, OLG Vice President of Product Management. “It’s thrilling for us to be able to say OLG players have won some great prizes, including the highest-ever Powerbucks jackpot.”

“Despite the temporary closure of casinos in Canada, IGT’s Powerbucks has continued to engage online players, build significant jackpot liquidity and deliver big wins such as the record-setting CA$2.2 million jackpot awarded on OLG’s online casino,” said David Flinn, IGT Regional Vice President, Canada. “IGT Powerbucks’ omnichannel availability has fueled its reputation as a growth-driving solution for Canada that delivers on its millionaire-making promise.”

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Powerbucks is the world’s first omnichannel wide area progressive game that links the jackpot prize pool between gaming machines found in casinos with games available on mobile devices and desktop computers. IGT’s Powerbucks has delivered some of the largest slot jackpots in Canada. Since making its Canadian debut in 2016, Powerbucks has paid 17 jackpots of a million dollars or more.

PlayOLG.ca, the only online gaming site regulated in Ontario, features a wide range of interactive casino-style games, including a variety of IGT games, such as Powerbucks and lottery ticket offerings. PlayOLG also provides customers with education on how to play safe and responsibly, including providing useful PlaySmart tools to help customers establish time and money limits to better manage their play. 

For more information, go to Facebook at facebook.com/IGT, follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/IGTnews or watch IGT videos on YouTube, youtube.com/igt.

About IGT

IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivaled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.igt.com.

About OLG

OLG is a crown agency that develops world-class gaming entertainment for the Province of Ontario. Acting in a socially responsible way, OLG conducts and manages land-based gaming facilities; the sale of province-wide lottery games; PlayOLG Internet gaming; and the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres. OLG is also helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided more than $52 billion to the people and Province of Ontario to support key government priorities like health care; the treatment and prevention of problem gambling; and support for amateur athletes. Each year, proceeds from OLG’s operations also support host communities, Ontario First Nations, lottery retailers and local charities across the province.

CONTACTS:

Phil O’Shaughnessy, Global Communications, toll free in U.S./Canada +1 (844) IGT-7452; outside U.S./Canada +1 (401) 392-7452

Francesco Luti, +39 3485475493; for Italian media inquiries

James Hurley, Investor Relations, +1 (401) 392-7190

 

SOURCE: IGT.

 

 

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A Message from NASPL President Bishop Woosley

CONCORD, OH (June 17, 2020) -- Last week, we made the very difficult decision to return our Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Marketing Sales Representatives to the field. In crafting the plan to safely return them to servicing our retailers, it became more and more obvious just how many people we interact with and rely on daily in our industry. Sitting in an office every day, you tend to forget how many links there are in our chain of success. So, for this 20/20 message, I want to keep things short and simple.

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On behalf of the lottery industry, I just want to say thanks.

Thanks to the lottery employees, who interact with the public each day, whether it be in the field, the lottery claim centers or at a promotional event for the industry.

Thanks to the vendors, whose employees service our retailers, deliver our tickets, and accept and process returns in their instant ticket warehouses.

Thanks to the small and independent retail store owners, who bravely continue to run their businesses through this pandemic.

Thanks to the employees in our larger format stores, who come to work each day and stock the shelves, knowing the exposure they and their family may face because of their work.

Thanks to the clerks in our retail partners stores, who have hundreds of face-to-face interactions each day.

And thanks to our players, who have continued to support our efforts over the past several months.

If even one of these groups decided that doing these jobs on any given day was too dangerous, none of what we do would be possible. Without them, no tickets are delivered, stocked or sold, and we don't raise a dime for the essential causes our lotteries support.

It's time like these when their importance becomes more and more evident, every day. So - to all lottery employees, vendors, clerks, store owners, and players - I thank you.

 Stay safe.

 

Signature

 Bishop Woosley

Director, Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

NASPL President

 

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Virginia Lottery Names Deputy Director for Expanded Gaming

Also Names Deputy General Counsel

Richmond, VA (June 17, 2020) -- The Virginia Lottery, which assumes newly expanded gaming responsibilities on July 1, has hired a former Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) executive to lead new regulatory and licensing functions for casino gaming and sports betting. Gina M. Smith will serve as the Virginia Lottery’s new Deputy Director for Gaming Compliance.

Smith served two decades as Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer of the MLGCA. She twice served as Interim Director in Maryland, including the period when the Maryland Lottery added casino gaming to its regulatory portfolio. She recently retired as Deputy Legislative Auditor in Maryland’s Office of Legislative Audits. Smith is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Baltimore.

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We’re so pleased to welcome Gina Smith to help us design, build and then lead the appropriate regulatory structures for casino gaming and sports betting,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “Selecting an industry leader with Gina’s experience and proven skills demonstrates our commitment to do this important work in a thoughtful and responsible way.

I look forward to a new challenge in my career,” said Smith. “The Virginia Lottery is well respected throughout the industry and I embrace the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new chapter in its 31-year history.”

Additionally, the Virginia Lottery announced the hiring of Robert Fontaine to serve as Deputy General Counsel with a focus on casino gaming and sports betting regulations. Fontaine recently retired as Assistant Attorney General and Principal Counsel for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, a position he held since 2008. Fontaine will take the lead in developing and then overseeing the application of the Virginia Lottery’s regulations for casino operators and sports betting licensees. He began work June 1.

Bob Fontaine is nationally recognized for his extensive legal experience around gaming issues,” Hall said. “His expertise will be invaluable to the Virginia Lottery as we construct and manage these important new responsibilities.

The 2020 Virginia General Assembly assigned regulatory authority and oversight for casino gaming and sports betting to the Virginia Lottery. Citizens and stakeholders can access the legislation, links to participate in the regulatory process, information on anticipated timelines, and FAQs about casino gaming and sports betting here.

Authorized by Virginia voters in a successful 1987 referendum, the Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.7 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. For more information, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page, visit our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out on YouTube. With all gaming, please remember to play responsibly.

SOURCE: Virginia Lottery.

 

 

Go Out and Play

 

Alchemy 3 Has The Solutions

With the changes of the past few months, now more than ever, lotteries need to leverage programs that feature the brands and products consumers are purchasing today and are likely to continue buying in the future.

Alchemy3's Go Out and Play solutions provide opportunities to partner with these brands and offer prizes your players can enjoy indoors today and out-of-doors later.

Jumpstart your lottery sales with programs that resonate with today's players as they gear up to Go Out and Play! Visit alchemy3.com/goout or click on an image below to learn more right now.

 

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Lottery Retailer Donates Sales Incentive to Charity

PHOENIX, AZ (June 15, 2020) -- With Arizona Lottery's sale of last week's $410M winning Mega Millions ticket, Circle K, Arizona Lottery's single largest retailer, received a sales bonus of $50K.  As we were preparing to move the bonus forward and looking at opportunities to promote the win for Circle K, we took the chance and asked Circle K if they would be willing to donate the prize to UCP of Central Arizona.

UCP is Circle K's primary non-profit partner and we have supported efforts with Circle K and UCP in the past.

In these times, organizations like UCP are struggling maintaining donations that are the lifeblood of their ability to serve our community.

We saw this as a way to do even more good for our community and Circle K agreed.  Now obviously Circle K has a little different resources than many of our retail partners, but we saw this as a lesson in not being afraid to ask for something that could be good for everyone involved.

$50K will have a tremendous impact for UCP and we were happy to play a small part in the effort!!

The $410M Mega Millions Jackpot is a big win for more than just one lucky Arizona Lottery player in #Glendale. Thanks to Circle K's generous donation of their $50k bonus check for selling the lucky ticket, United Cerebral Palsy will be able to continue to make life without limits possible for people with disabilities. The Arizona Lottery is proud to partner with retailers like Circle K to strengthen our communities. https://bit.ly/3fpGKY1

 

Circle K and UCP

 

SOURCE: Arizona Lottery.

 

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Florida Lottery’s New Player’s Guide Website Wins Gold Hermes Creative Award

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (June 12, 2020) -- The Florida Lottery is excited to announce its new, best-in-class Player’s Guide website has received a Gold Hermes Creative Award. The international competition honors those who bring ideas to life through traditional and digital platforms. Awards are given to companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

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We created the Player’s Guide as an additional tool to ensure Florida Lottery players have the best chance at success when it comes to playing and winning the Lottery responsibly, and we are elated to learn it has received a Gold Hermes Creative Award,” said Florida Lottery Chief of Staff Samantha Ferrin.

Many months of hard work and dedication went into making the Player’s Guide idea a reality and we are honored that it is being recognized in this capacity by such an esteemed international competition.”

Hermes Creative Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Entries are judged on a scale of 0-100 points. Entries receiving scores between 90-100 points are Platinum Winners; entries with 80-89 points are Gold Winners; and entries scoring from 70-79 receive an Honorable Mention recognition.

The Player’s Guide website launched in January and features detailed information on how to play and win the Lottery responsibly. It serves as a one-stop-shop for tips, resources, documents, and how-to information for every level of Lottery player – from beginners to experienced players. The Player’s Guide is an extension of the Florida Lottery’s current website and can be accessed directly at playersguide.flalottery.com.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA LOTTERY (www.flalottery.com)

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $37 billion to education and sending more than 840,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $69 billion in prizes and made more than 3,000 people millionaires. For more information, please visit www.flalottery.com.

CONTACT: Florida Lottery Communications, T: (850) 487-7727.

 

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INTRALOT Among the Top 10 Most Attractive Employer Brand Winners

INTRALOT featured as one of the best companies to work for in Greece according to the international annual research of Randstad Employer Brand in 2020

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ATHENS, Greece (June 12, 2020) -- INTRALOT is pleased to announce that has been featured as one of the Top 10 most attractive Employer Brands in Greece according to the international annual research Randstad’s Employer Brand (REBR) 2020 conducted for a third year in a row. The Top 10 companies are among the 150 largest companies in Greece, that maintain a strong employer image and at the same time offer an inspiring working environment, keeping their workforce satisfied.

REBR is an independent survey with nearly 185,000 participants and 6,136 companies, in 33 countries and focuses on the top largest ones – in terms of the number of people employed. Optimizing over 20 years of successful employer branding insights, REBR measures public opinion regarding the most attractive workplaces and reveals the top criteria of candidates during their search for a job.

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We are honored to be recognized as one of the best companies to work for,” said Dr. Chris Dimitriadis, INTRALOT Group CEO. “This recognition is made possible by our most valued ambassadors, INTRALOT employees, and our focus on cutting-edge technology in our product ecosystem that drive our business innovation. Our commitment to a fair and collaborative environment creates a culture where everyone feels they have an equal opportunity to belong, succeed, and build a career.”

Operating in over 44 markets worldwide, we enable our people to seek for international career opportunities and develop professional capabilities while exploring new cultural environments. It is worth mentioning that in 2019, in the areas of our employees’ professional advancement and personal development, 10% of our people at HQ took a step up in their career, while 102 training programs and more than 3.300 training hours have been provided to leverage their talents.

About INTRALOT

INTRALOT, a public listed company established in 1992, is a leading gaming solutions supplier and operator active in 44 regulated jurisdictions around the globe. With €0.7 billion turnover and a global workforce of approximately 3,800 employees (2,200 of which in subsidiaries and 1,600 in associates) in 2019, INTRALOT is an innovation - driven corporation focusing its product development on the customer experience. The company is uniquely positioned to offer to lottery and gaming organizations across geographies market-tested solutions and retail operational expertise. The company has designed a new ecosystem of holistic omni-channel solutions across verticals (Lottery, Betting, Interactive, VLT) for Lotteries digital transformation. INTRALOT has been awarded the prestigious WLA Responsible Gaming Framework Certification by the World Lottery Association (WLA) and the WLA certificate for the Security Control standard.

For more information CONTACT: Ms. Chryssa Amanatidou, Group Corporate Affairs Director, Phone: +30 2106156000, Fax: +30 2106106800, email: press_office@intralot.com.

SOURCE: INTRALOT (www.intralot.com).

 

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Peerplays RNG Partners with GLI to Achieve North American Endorsement

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (June 11, 2020) - Peerplays is delighted to be a client of Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) North America. Peerplays RNG, formally announced last month as the provably fair next-generation random number generator developed on the Peerplays blockchain, is currently undergoing comprehensive testing from world-renowned testing regulator GLI with the goal of being a GLI endorsed platform.

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The mission of Peerplays RNG is to future-proof the igaming and charitable gaming sector by introducing distributed ledger technology to enhance integrity and fairness for the players in the industries and also assist regulators and governing structures to provide more secure, transparent, and fair environments for players and operators.

Said PBSA: "We're looking forward to a long and lasting partnership with GLI, as well as their gaming clients who believe players deserve the full transparency that Peerplays RNG provides. Being the only decentralized RNG in North America with GLI's literal stamp of approval will allow us to disrupt the casino, igaming, and charitable gaming industries.

"Peerplays RNG is designed to seamlessly integrate with products to guarantee verifiable randomness on all actions, and we look forward to working with the industry to usher in this new paradigm of transparency."

Today, Peerplays RNG is being utilized within Easy5050, a white label fundraising tool for charitable organizations. GLI testing and verification is in progress.

For more information, please visit: https://peerplaysrng.com/

SOURCE: Peerplays RNG press release.

 

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Preparing for New-Normal with Skilrock’s INFINITI

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GURUGRAM, India (June 10, 2020) -- COVID-19 has impacted global lottery and gaming businesses in more radical ways than one could have really planned for. The business continuity aspects have been handled with work-from-home, migration to cloud and similar measures but the impact on revenues is unimaginable.

The companies which were realizing more revenues from land-based operations or from sportsbook have seen significant reduction in revenues due to lockdown, with a prevailing general scare in the public and drying up of sporting events to bet on. However, the companies who were largely operating through the digital channel with focus on RNG based lottery, casino or virtual type of games saw sudden spurt in revenues as people were spending more time on their devices.

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Till such time the vaccination is out, and social distancing measures prevail, this will be the new normal. Experts are predicting that THERE WILL BE A PERMANANET SHIFT TO DIGITAL AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS that players can trust.

Mr. Sujit Lahiry, Executive Director at Skilrock Technologies Pvt. Ltd, commented “at Skilrock we offer Omni-Channel solutions that not only helps our clients to go digital but also ensures a rich customer experience (CX) across digital as well as land based operations, when they come back to normal. We also have a range of touch-free, contactless and cashless solutions for retail and land based operations to quickly place player’s trust back onto our client’s operations. In addition, such solutions have potential to save significant operating costs.

Several lotteries and land based operators have a mandate to create and protect jobs and migration to Digital is fraught with job loss. Skilrock provides solutions where retailer can earn commissions for enrolling digital players, topping up their accounts and much more.”

About Skilrock (www.skilrock.com/)

Skilrock Technologies is a leading technology solution provider for the lottery, gaming and payment industry with its R&D centres located at global IT hubs. It is the technology arm of $2.4 billion Sugal & Damani Group, who are leaders of Indian lottery & gaming operations. The complete Omni-Channel Gaming Platform of Skilrock serves Retail, iGaming & Self Service Channels with equal ease and at the same time supports a wide variety of games like Lotto, Keno, Bingo, Instant, Sports, Poker, Rummy, Casino and Slots. More than 200,000 retail touch points and over 5 million iGaming players across 25+ jurisdictions have been serviced by Skilrock.

SOURCE: Skilrock Technologies.

 

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Gambling Commission Publishes Further Data Showing the Impact of Covid-19 on Gambling Behaviour

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. (June 12, 2020) -- The Gambling Commission has today published further data showing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on gambling behaviour.

The data reflects the first full month of lockdown in April and was collected from the largest online operators and the YouGov Covid-19 tracker. It builds on data published by the Commission on 12 May, after which the Commission issued updated guidance to operators which included the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

This latest set of data is consistent with the first set of data. Overall participation¹ has decreased but some engaged players are spending more time and money gambling on certain products.

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This is why the Commission strengthened guidance for operators to ensure people are more protected from harm.

Having assessed the implications, the Commission will now continue to track and assess risk by:

  • assessing the impact of the strengthened guidance issued to operators
  • collecting and publishing the data being gathered
  • supporting the industry as land-based premises begin to open
  • where evidence identifies additional risks faced by consumers, taking further action to protect consumers.

 

The data was taken from YouGov’s Covid-19 tracker², which covers a representative sample of circa 2,000 adults in Great Britain each week, and from submissions of the biggest operators, covering approximately 80% of the entire online gambling market.[3]

The full report on Covid-19-related data is available on the Gambling Commission’s website.

 

¹ Participation rate taken from operator data on active player accounts, i.e. players who have placed one or more bet or spin during the month.
² YouGov’s Covid-19 tracker, 16-17 April to 6-7 May. Based on responses from 8,713 adults in Great Britain, aged 18+.
³ These figures may contain some duplication of customer numbers where it is not possible to identify unique customers.

 

SOURCE: Gambling Commission.

 

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Texas Lottery Commission Appoints Tom Hanson Director of Charitable Bingo

AUSTIN, Texas (June 15, 2020) – The Texas Lottery Commission (TLC) has appointed Tom Hanson as Director of the Charitable Bingo Operations Division, where he will oversee the agency’s regulation of bingo effective June 11, 2020. Hanson, now in his 15th year with the TLC, had been serving as the Acting Charitable Bingo Operations Director since he was appointed to that role by the Commission on Feb. 13.

After seeing a positive trajectory over the last several months, I am confident in Mr. Hanson’s ability to lead the Charitable Bingo Operations Division on a permanent basis,” said Texas Lottery Commission Chairman J. Winston Krause. “Throughout his tenure with the Texas Lottery Commission, Mr. Hanson has demonstrated strong leadership skills and solid knowledge of the bingo industry.”

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I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Charitable Bingo Operations Division,” Hanson said. “

I look forward to our division working with the bingo industry, so that together we can help Texas charities generate much needed revenue for their causes while operating within the Bingo Enabling Act and Administrative Rules.

Hanson assumes his new role with more than 30 years of experience as an investigator, which includes more than 27 years of experience in the bingo industry.

Since arriving to the TLC in 2005 as an investigator of lottery and bingo, Hanson’s duties have included background investigations, as well as complaint investigations where he visited bingo industry manufacturers, distributors and halls conducting bingo. Additionally, he has led financial investigations related to audit results or reports of improprieties and bingo-derived funds.

Prior to joining the TLC, Hanson’s career in the industry began in 1989 with the Idaho Lottery Commission as a technology contractor before transitioning to a commissioned peace officer investigator. In 1992, Hanson’s duties expanded to the regulation, licensing and investigations of bingo operations.

Before his lottery and bingo career, Hanson served as a security police officer for the United States Air Force from 1975-1979.

Hanson received a certification in law enforcement from Mesa Community College in 1984 and later went on to earn certification in computer forensics from Oregon State University in 2005.

About Charitable Bingo

The Charitable Bingo Operations Division of the Texas Lottery Commission is charged with the strict control and close supervision of bingo conducted in Texas. Charitable Bingo provides authorized organizations the opportunity to raise funds for their charitable purposes by conducting bingo and determines that all charitable bingo funds are used for an authorized purpose and that bingo is conducted fairly. Charitable Bingo works to achieve voluntary compliance and assist licensees through training and education.

For more information about charitable bingo, please visit the official Texas Charitable Bingo website at www.txbingo.org.

SOURCE: Texas Lottery.

 

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Szerencsejáték Zrt. Supports the Ecumenical Relief Organization with HUF 50 Million in Overcoming the Difficulties Caused by the Epidemic

BUDAPEST, Hungary (June 10, 2020) -- The national lottery company provides HUF 50 million in support of the aid organization's work to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 virus on disadvantaged families, especially affected children. As part of the donation, 500 families in need will receive an immediate crisis package, which includes food and hygiene equipment, and the donation will also support the summer camping and development of 600 children living in difficult conditions across the country.

The effects of the coronavirus affect many families and children. Szerencsejáték Zrt. Set aside HUF 50 million to mitigate these effects, which the Ecumenical Relief Organization distributes to children in need in the form of child development classes, community programs, summer camps and food donations. The main goal of the Relief Society's activity is to support, develop and catch up with children living in difficult circumstances.

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This activity is summarized in the so-called Its “clinging program”, which helps to overcome the difficulties of children and their families in digital education and the tensions caused by confinement in the online space during a crisis situation, and also plays a major role in reactivating families.

While perhaps the most difficult phase of the epidemic is already behind us, its economic impact will affect many families in the long run. The support of Szerencsejáték Zrt. Gives us considerable strength to be there with even more needy families and children in the coming difficult months, with both tangible support and programs,” said László Lehel, President and CEO of the Ecumenical Relief Organization.

The National Lottery Company has so far placed a strong emphasis on the protection of minors and their families, and our cooperation with the Ecumenical Relief Organization has a long history in the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction and the protection of vulnerable groups.   With this offer, we want to help children and their families with a difficult fate to overcome the effects of the coronavirus, also thinking about the summer period,” said dr. Gábor Czepek, CEO of Szerencsejáték Zrt.

With the offered amount, Szerencsejáték Zrt. Will also provide the financial resources of the summer camps organized by the centers of the aid organization, which will be of extraordinary importance in the summer of 2020. Many families will have trouble caring for their children during the day due to the holidays taken in the spring or their limited financial resources. In addition to complying with the epidemiological regulations in force, the Relief Organization will organize classes and summer camps for children in need. And for families whose daily livelihoods are threatened by the epidemic, the Ecumenical Relief Organization helps with food and hygiene product donations.

SOURCE: Szerencsejáték Zrt.

 

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National Lotteries for The Benefit of European Society

BRUSSELS, Belgium (June 11, 2020) – Lottery executives, direct beneficiaries of lottery funding and EU policymakers came together this week via an online webinar to discuss the role of national lotteries for the benefit of European society. The webinar which gathered over 180 participants, was organised by The European Lotteries (EL) under the patronage of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU¹.

National lotteries in Europe have traditionally played an important role in financially supporting their communities. They have proven to work successfully for generations to protect their players and provide a consistent source of financing for the benefit of society. Without national lotteries, European society, culture, and welfare would be 21 billion EUR poorer, as they directly support valuable projects related to sport, science, education, art, and vulnerable individuals with disabilities.

As the moderator, EL Secretary General Arjan van ‘t Veer opened the discussion by highlighting the importance of national lotteries as a sustainable and fundamental source of income to support good causes in Europe. During the Covid-19 pandemic, lotteries have continued to fulfil their core values of responsibility, sustainability, and integrity by supporting communities throughout this difficult time. Campaigns have been adapted to aid the healthcare sector, for example with the funding of medical equipment, as well as delivering daily essential supplies to care homes and creating emergency funds.²

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Hrvoje Mršić from the Permanent Representation of Croatia to the EU welcomed participants on behalf of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The past months have been challenging for the Presidency which has had to adapt to new ways of remote working for its high-level meetings and the initiatives it supports. No other Presidency has had to face such a situation, but the show must go on!’’ said Mr Mršić. ‘‘We are delighted to grant our patronage to this webinar, acknowledging the importance attached to the topics raised and the good work lotteries do for the benefit of society.”

At a time when national and local government funding is in ever shorter supply, the challenges faced by communities across Europe are ever more complete. The current widespread and successful economic model of national lotteries is the optimal one, as it provides secure games in a controlled and safe environment for consumers and grants a sustainable and consistent financial support to European society. Now more than ever, it is vital to safeguard the benefits of national lotteries for society and support national gambling policies through the principle of subsidiarity.

EPP MEP Pablo Arias Echeverría from Spain highlighted the important work of EL Member Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) who’s social role in Spain is very well known, focusing on the inclusion of people living with disabilities for example, in education and the labour market.

We have to promote models based on responsibility and if possible, social work behind them,” said Mr Arias Echeverría. From a policy perspective, he outlined the work of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee in the European Parliament which is currently working on a report on the future Digital Services Act, including a reform of the e-commerce Directive. Mr Arias Echeverría adds, “It is also important to establish clear rules on gambling activities to protect the most vulnerable.”

From the lottery perspective Stéphane Pallez, CEO and President of Française des Jeux (FDJ) emphasised the importance of 85 years of solidarity from the national lottery in France and its contributions to national wealth annually - in 2019, EUR 3,9 billion went to state budget, including support to specific actions such as sport events and national heritage.

Lotteries act for society! The Covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to showcase our solidarity once again. Special measures taken during this difficult time have given us the momentum to reinforce our commitments and complete our “raison d’être”, aiming at including in its bylaws the company’s purpose for the benefit of society,” said Mrs Pallez.

FDJ has taken several priority measures to protect players and retailers during the pandemic, such as helping and providing masks to our retailers still open during the lockdown, adapting our responsible gaming messages and suspending some lottery products not consistent with health and sanitary rules and providing masks to retailers.”

Dedicated initiatives have directly supported the health care sector for example, donations of time off by FDJ employees to reduce costs and support hospitals, as well as assistance to Associations such as Secours Populaire Français to support the delivering of daily essential supplies to the elderly in their homes.

Mario Musa, CEO of Hrvatska Lutrija outlined that benefiting society is inherent in each lottery game and in Croatia, recent research has shown that players are aware, and support this. In its 47 years of existence, Hrvatska Lutrija has secured 2,6 billion HRK for a wide range of projects including for example, the Croatian Olympic Centre, Tesla Memorial Centre, and the Croatian Red Cross.

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To emphasis the important role of our lottery, as our slogan said during the 2018 World Cup, little nation, big dreams!” said Mr Musa. “It is important to find the right balance between economic interest and responsibility towards the players which is crucial in the lottery sector. Our dedication to consumer protection and corporate social responsibility sets us apart from private commercial operators, and we are happy that our players are aware of that.”

During Covid-19, the Croatian lottery has used this period to incite positive regulatory changes in the country, most notably with regard to problem gambling and consumer protection, recently funding research on the topic. March was a particularly difficult time for Hrvatska Lutrija as Zagreb was hit by an earthquake. The Board and many employees spared a percentage of their salaries and donated them to the fund dedicated to reconstruction of the city.

Following these discussions, participants heard from a direct beneficiary of lottery funding, adding weight to the argument that the national lottery model needs to be safeguarded by policymakers.

Lottery funding has long traditions in the Finnish civil society and Mental Health Finland (MIELI) is just one example of a beneficiary that receives most of its funding from the state lottery system, either via the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health or the Ministry of Education and Culture. Sari Aalto-Matturi, Executive Director of MIELI highlighted that the funding system has had a big effect on the vitality of the Finnish civil society, enabling thousands of Associations to engage in advocacy work, provide support and help to those who need it.

MIELI is the oldest mental health Association in the world, founded in 1897, which promotes mental health and prevents mental health disorders in all age groups; offers crisis help online, by phone and at 22 dedicated crisis centres nationwide. The Association has provided crisis support in Finland since 1970 and during the Covid-19 pandemic, incoming calls to the helpline have doubled – normally the helpline receives around 55,000 calls per year,” said Mrs Aalto-Matturi.

Following several questions from the audience, EL Secretary General Arjan van ‘t Veer concluded the webinar by highlighting the importance of sustaining the current widespread model of national lotteries in Europe and safeguarding the benefits of national lotteries for society.

EL’s latest publication ‘For the Benefit of Society’ presents its core values and the ways in which lotteries contribute meaningfully to society including healthcare, culture, and sport³. Nationally licensed and regulated lotteries have proved to work successfully for generations. They continue to be a transparent and consistent source of financing for the benefit of society.

 

¹ Recording of the webinar

² EL Members’ Initiatives during Covid-19 pandemic

³ EL Brochure – For the Benefit of Society

 

CONTACT: Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson, Communications Officer, European Lotteries, Brussels, Tel: + 32 2 234 38 23, Mobile: +32 470 84 75 73, Email: lucy.mathieson@european-lotteries.eu.

 

About the European Lotteries

The European Lotteries Association (EL) is the European umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for the public benefit. EL has members from more than 40 European countries including all EU Member States. The association’s EU members contribute more than 20 billion EUR p.a. to the state budgets and the funding of sport, culture, social projects, research and other causes of general interest. Unlike many commercial online gambling operators, EL members only offer gambling and betting services in the jurisdictions in which they are licensed by the respective national government. Website: www.european-lotteries.org, Twitter @EuropeLotteries, LinkedIn

SOURCE: European Lotteries.

 

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Alexandre Tauszig, New Skilrock Manager for Latin America

ARGENTINA (June 8, 2020) -- Skilrock Technologies, a company specializing in innovative technology solutions for the lottery, gaming and payment services industries, reported the appointment of Alexandre Tauszig as the new regional manager for Latin America.

Alexandre Tauszig

Alexandre is an engineer specialized in industrial administration with more than 27 years of rich experience in various fields. In recent years, he has established a wide network of contacts with members of the Iberoamerican Corporation for State Lotteries and Gambling (CIBELAE) and has visited many countries in the region to learn first-hand about the environment of lotteries and games of chance.

He has over 16 years of information technology experience, helping him to directly link to Skilrock products and their application in various lottery and gaming ecosystems.

At this moment, in which the entire world and the Latin American region are going through an unprecedented situation, the Skilrock team feels the duty to offer solutions that help clients not only overcome current challenges, but also face the new normal.

Skilrock's true omnichannel and omnigame platform, called INFINITI, has been designed with the future in mind and provides one of the smartest iGaming solutions, well tailored to the region and with features that enhance the customer experience. INFINITI's "Smart Retail" modules can handle cashless and contactless transactions, even in a retail store, preparing customers to face the new normal!

Cibelae wishes Alexandre Tauszig a successful management.

SOURCE: Cibelae.

 

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Veikkaus to Reduce Slot Machines Double the Number Planned in 2020 – Slot Machine Opening Hours Limited and Protective Measures Against Coronavirus Introduced

HELSINKI, Finland (June 12, 2020) -- Veikkaus has made significant reforms to further improve the responsibility and security of gaming. By the end of the year 2020, there will be ca. 40 percent fewer decentralized slot machines than in January 2020.

With the new solutions, the company enables secure service experiences to those who, for example, have problems playing slot machines. Veikkaus has also adopted measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. 

At the end of last year Veikkaus announced that it would reduce the number of slot machines in its retail network by 3,500 by the end of 2020. Following the new decision, the number will rise to 8,000 machines. In other words, Veikkaus more than doubles the planned reductions.

In December 2020, there will be a maximum of 10,500 slot machines in the retail network, shops, kiosks, and service stations. At the beginning of this year, they numbered ca. 18,500,” says Mr Jari Heino, Senior Vice President, Channels and Sales.

Thus, the number of slot machines in the retail network will fall by ca. 40 percent. The maximum number of slot machines per point of sales is also reduced.

By January 2021, a single point of sales can only have four slot machines at the maximum. The reductions will be introduced gradually in 2020.

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Arcades open in June, slot machines in July

Veikkaus opens its arcades for limited numbers of customers (Casino Helsinki, Feel Vegas and Pelaamo arcades) on Friday 26 June and the decentralized slot machines in, e.g., shops, kiosks, service stations, and restaurants on Wednesday 15 July. The new responsibility measures will take effect in the arcades immediately.

Everyone should have a chance, for example, to do their shopping without relapsing to gambling. That is why all our decentralized slot machines only open for playing at 11 a.m. every day. They close by 4 a.m. at the latest. This change will remain effective until compulsory identification enters into force in January 2021. After that, people will have the chance to impose a total block on their slots gaming,” says Mr Heino, explaining the new decisions.

We will also introduce session timers to all Veikkaus’ slot machines in retail network, announcing the time spent on gaming every 15 minutes. It helps you notice the passing of time, if you fail to keep track of it by yourself. However, if gaming still causes problems, you can already set a self-exclusion on your gaming, when playing identified.”

Coronavirus risks noted

When opening the arcades and slot machines, Veikkaus pays attention to the health risks caused by the coronavirus. People are urged to maintain safe distance to other people at the slot machines and the arcades.

We will also take special care of hygiene, for example, by installing plexiglass shields to the checkout desks and between the slot machines, together with floor graphics to remind people to keep a safe distance, and we will place hand sanitizer dispensers near the slot machines. We have provided the arcades with various protective gear for our employees. We want to make sure that both Veikkaus’ staff and the customers have the best possible protection against the coronavirus,” says Mr Heino. 

Veikkaus is following and evaluating the effects of its decisions and measures every day, together with following the policies laid down by the Finnish Government.

“We are ready to react fast, if the situation requires it. We want to keep up dialogue with our stakeholders and work for an even safer gaming environment every day,” Mr Heino stresses.

SOURCE: Veikkaus.

 

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