Game Set and Match! How lotteries can win in the sport betting market

Our partner, the European Lotteries - in cooperation with the World Lottery Association - organised a Sports Betting Seminar in Madrid, Spain, on 20 to 22 November 2019. The seminar was moderated by André Noël Chaker, popular business speaker and writer. Here is his summary about the event:

The EL/WLA Sports Betting Seminar held many insights for the future work of lotteries in the sports betting market. Much was said about social responsibility and possibilities in markets facing more regulatory and technological disruption than ever before. The key take-aways from the seminar include four areas: regulation, offering, collaboration and knowledge.


In almost every market, lotteries are facing challenges in their sports betting operations. Several EL members presented the views such as how to deal with a general advertising ban in Italy (Lottomatica) and the potential challenges associated to sport data ownership (La Française des Jeux).

Sport integrity continues to be a hot topic for the sector. A panel on the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (the Macolin Convention) with representatives from GLMS, Interpol, The Tennis Integrity Unit in the UK and EL member FDJ looked at the importance of its ratification and the collaboration between the three main stakeholders of the convention: sports betting operators, public authorities (police) and sports organisations.

A second panel focused on the US Market Regulatory situation and challenges for lotteries. There is a great variety in the regulatory models and technologies being introduced, and time will tell how the market and the larger public will react to these significant changes.


The last few years have seen the rapid digitalisation of lotteries around the world. Danske Spil, Veikkaus and FDJ demonstrated how digitalisation gives lotteries an edge over their legal and illegal online competitors.

One of the most significant developments in the offering of lotteries in sports betting is the rise of e-sports. In Finland e-sports already represent the fifth most popular sports betting offering of the lottery ahead of basketball. Only a handful of lotteries offer e-sports for the moment. There is potential for lotteries to enter into this new offering.

Collaboration and knowledge

The Seminar was a great information sharing platform, bringing together sports betting professionals. Participants now have the chance to transform what they learned into knowledge that can improve their national activities. Looking at the global market, competitors are getting better, making it only logical for lotteries to pool their resources, when possible, to face increasing competition.

As tennis legend Pat Cash told participants during his keynote, “you are only as strong as your team is. Even in individual sports”.

Panel on sport integrity. Click on the right arrow to see Pat Cash and a group photo.

(Photo credits: European Lotteries)