European Lotteries Says Ethical Brands Are The Future

September 21, 2021
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The European State Lotteries and Toto Association’s members are helping one another achieve the group’s new Responsible Gaming Certification, which includes passing an independent audit of labour practices and climate change impact.

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The European Lotteries (EL) members are helping one another achieve the group’s new Responsible Gaming Certification, which includes passing an independent audit of labour practices and climate change impact.

During a general assembly announcement on June 4, the group adopted the EL Resolution on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and made the certification mandatory for its more than 70 members.

The EL’s CSR guidelines focus on organisational governance, consumer issues, fair operating practices, labour practices, human rights, community involvement and environment and stakeholder identification and communication.

Already 48 members are certified and the rest will follow suit in around a year, Romana Dernovšek, supervisory chair of the EL Working Group on Responsible Gaming and CSR, told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

“All companies have values, but few of them live by them. It's an ambitious idea to say that 1/3rd of your members must do anything, let alone allow an independent auditor into your business. It's a big request that takes up time, effort and funds,” Dernovšek explained.

The auditor determines whether or not a lottery business meets the EL’s standards regarding responsible gambling.

“The process involves lots of people throughout a lottery organisation ensuring sustainability efforts are not just siloed away or just for show,” Bjørn Helge Hoffmann, a member of EL’s CSR and Responsible Gaming Working Group and Norsk Tipping’s chief responsible gambling advisor, said.

The driving force behind the certificate is the belief that the future of lottery business is sustainability, said the trade group, especially as young people look to support ethical brands.

The EL did not lose any members over the decision to make the certification mandatory, it said.

The group credits this in part to the support offered to those without a certificate, which includes a “buddy system” that enables them to ask certified members for help.

Additionally, members were given a webinar to explain the framework, provided with an external advisor to help with the process and a new eLearning platform.

The decision to make the certificate mandatory is part of the EL’s ambitions to put the core lottery values — responsibility, and sustainability and integrity — at the forefront of its members' businesses. Player protection lies at the core of the EL members' activities.

For instance, the EL also recently updated its “Responsible Gaming Standards”, which were created by its CSR/Responsible Gaming Working Group with feedback from members, regulators, assessors and experts.

The standards are the core of the EL policy framework for responsible gaming, the group said, which includes other supplementing documents such as the Code on Sports Betting and the EL Advertising & Marketing Guidelines.

The association, along with the World Lottery Association, is also running a series of webinars this week to educate lottery staff on responsible gambling and CSR.

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