At the fourth European Commission Sport Unit Breakfast this week The European Lotteries (EL) was invited to present how lotteries are supporting and using sport. EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier highlighted the importance of promoting the values of sport and the sustainable financing from national lotteries.
‘‘Supporting sport and sharing in the same values – responsibility, sustainability and integrity – is in the DNA of lotteries.’’ said EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier. ‘‘National lotteries in Europe are primary partners of sport and for decades, EL members have provided it with sustainable financing of more than 2bn EUR per year – mainly to grassroots sport but also to professional sports and sport infrastructures. Safeguarding lottery funding is essential for all these levels.’’
EL members finance numerous projects in the EU to benefit sport and society (e.g. integrating underprivileged individuals, empowering women and supporting skills development- see video). Furthermore, a strong commitment to safeguarding the inspirational value and sports integrity has always been a core objective in all national lottery operations. EL is a founding member of the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), the lotteries’ integrity body.
In his intervention Gilles Maillet, Director of Sport Integrity at La Française des Jeux (FDJ) gave a concrete example of lotteries and sport in France: ‘‘FDJ supports sport and its values, both in terms of lottery funding and promoting a fair, clean sport without doping, match-fixing and manipulation. We are one of the founding members of the French National Platform against match-fixing and an active member of GLMS. By working with authorities to propose and help develop legislation, we can promote legal betting and international cooperation worldwide’’. A strong commitment in the fight against sports manipulations was emphasised with a reference to the Macolin Convention, which entered into force on 1 September 2019. Since the early stage, EL has advocated for and supported the Convention.
Participants were impressed not only by the amount of funding regularly given to grassroots and professional sports, but even more by the reliable approach lotteries use by adding responsibility and integrity as important rules to their engagement. They asked for more communication on this and agreed that the supportive approach of lotteries has to be secured.
Alexandre Husting, Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Attaché of the Permanent Representation of Luxemburg to the EU concluded that ‘‘Public lotteries are indeed a strong and necessary partner for supporting good causes, and sport is for sure one of them’’.