Wednesday, June 12, 2024

NLA partners with European lottery officials on responsible gaming training

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NLA executives with European lottery officials

The Legal Advisor to the European Lotteries (EL), Mr. Phillipe Vlaemminck, is urging governments worldwide to reconsider the practice of taxing lottery wins as an avenue for revenue generation, as it becomes counterproductive and prevents patrons from finding the game attractive.

Mr. Vlaemminck, accompanied by his colleague Ms. Beata Guzik, EL Public Affairs Director, spoke at a training session organized by the National Lottery Authority for its management, Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs), Private Lottery Operators (PLOs), and third-party collaborators.

The trainers, armed with their extensive knowledge and expertise in lottery operations and regulation, covered a broad range of topics. They ensured participants gained a deep and comprehensive understanding of the gaming industry, addressing subjects from the Role of Lotteries to Responsible Gaming, the Fight Against Illegal Lotteries, Global Lottery Trends, the Legal Framework in the European Union, Anti-Money Laundering, AI and New Technologies, the World Lottery Market, and the Types of Multi-Jurisdictional Games.

Participants learned about the importance of enforcing responsible gaming practices within their operations, ensuring that profits do not overshadow the welfare of patrons or customers.

They were also instructed on implementing measures to educate players about the odds of winning, enabling informed decision-making and preventing unrealistic expectations and potential lottery or gambling-related issues.

On the topic of taxes on lottery winnings, Mr. Philippe Vlaemminck remarked that such taxes serve as a disincentive for players and should not be used by governments as a revenue source.

“When people play the lottery, they expect to receive their full winnings. Therefore, taxing these winnings discourages further participation, leading to revenue loss for lottery institutions and operators who already contribute significantly to charitable causes. I believe the Ghanaian government, along with other governments worldwide that practice this, should abolish taxes on lottery winnings. Let’s allow the players to enjoy their full rewards,” he stated.

Mr. Vlaemminck also emphasized the government’s role in combating illegal lottery operations, which should support the efforts of lottery institutions and operators.

The Director-General, Mr. Samuel Awuku, expressed that the training would bolster the NLA’s operations and enlighten its stakeholders, who could then disseminate the knowledge within their teams.

“This training is crucial for the NLA as we commit to adhering to and promoting Responsible Gaming practices according to the standards of the World Lottery Association (WLA). We aim to involve our retailers and stakeholders so that we can operate ethically and create a secure lottery environment for our patrons. It also serves as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the WLA and EL,” he said.

The training session followed discussions at an EL Public Order Seminar on Enforcing Gambling Regulation: Significance and Challenges, held in Brussels in February by the European Lotteries Association, where Mr. Samuel Awuku was invited to address illegal gambling in Ghana.

During the seminar, Mr. Awuku outlined the measures implemented by the NLA and the Gaming Commission to curb illegal lottery operations and gambling in Ghana. He advocated for collaboration with the European Lotteries to combat illegal activities and conduct training sessions for the Authority and its stakeholders.

He also sought Observer status with the European Lotteries, enabling the NLA to participate in seminars and training programs organized by the EL to enhance its operations. The NLA has achieved WLA Level 2 Certification in Responsible Gaming and is striving to attain Level 3.

Participants who received certificates in Responsible Gaming from the EL Training found the sessions enlightening and impactful. They urged the NLA to organize more training to stay updated on best practices and improve their business operations.

The trainers, Mr. Philippe Vlaemminck, with over 40 years of experience in lotteries, betting, and gambling, advises several states and governments, gaming regulators, lottery associations, and operators, including cooperative structures like EuroMillions, as well as aspects of Euro Jackpot and Viking Lotto. Ms. Beata Guzik, with over 20 years of experience, is a lawyer and public affairs expert involved in numerous business areas. She monitors EU regulatory developments and court cases.

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