Loterie Romande bullish ahead of new Swiss gaming law

Loterie Romande bullish ahead of new Swiss gaming law

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Posted by James Walker
From left: Jean-Maurice Tornay, Jean-Luc Moner-Banet and Jean-Pierre Beuret

As the final amendments are made to the new Swiss Gambling Act, Loterie Romande has announced a return to “encouragingly robust growth” in 2016.

Established as a non-profit lottery organisation in 1937, the Société de la Loterie de la Suisse Romande (Loterie Romande) serves Switzerland’s six French-speaking cantons: Vaud, Friborg, Valais, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Jura.

The group operates six draw sets (Euro Millions, Swiss Loto, Trio Magic, LotoExpress, Banco and Banco Jass), three prediction games and offers around 40 scratch tickets. All profits are redistributed to good causes across the region.

On May 23 at Loterie Romande’s head office in Lausanne, the operator hosted its annual press conference to announce its operating results for 2016, under the chairmanship of Jean-Pierre Beuret, alongside CEO Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, and president of the group’s Valais delegation, Jean-Maurice Tornay.

After posting a dip in earnings in 2015, the group said gross gaming revenues (GGR) last year rose by 5.7% to CHF398 million. Net profit – the sum disbursed for the public good – totalled CHF216.8 million.

Sales were boosted by the record Swiss Loto jackpot of CHF70 million, while scratch cards also performed well, the company said.

Around 3,000 public service bodies and institutions received funding from Loterie Romande in 2016. On average, over CHF500,000 was distributed daily to social, cultural and sports projects throughout French-speaking Switzerland.

According to the Loterie Romande executives, the group’s results in 2016 bear testament to the “long-term strategies put in place to maintain levels of funding distributed for the public good”.

The lottery company’s return to growth comes as lawmakers in Switzerland finalise the country’s new Gambling Act, which aims to tackle illegal online gambling and improve player protection.

However, while Loterie Romande said the draft bill was “consistent and well balanced”, the operator warned against any further amendments that might hinder the progress of non-profit lottery and sports betting companies.

“The draft gambling legislation has been scrutinised and debated by both chambers of the Federal Assembly – the Council of States in June 2016, followed by the National Council in March 2017 – so the new Gambling Act is on track to be finalised and approved shortly by parliament,” the group stated.

“It is vital this draft legislation, considering the balanced positions achieved, is not degraded by amendments that might damage the competitiveness of public-interest lottery companies, as profits generated by them are vitally important and central for the funding of projects working for the public good.”

The company added: “In an increasingly competitive gambling industry, this new legislation must enable lottery operators to propose attractive, profitable and socially responsible games so as to guarantee the long-term sustainability and stability of profits, totalling almost CHF600 million each year, distributed by Loterie Romande and Swisslos.”

Totally Gaming says: Loterie Romande’s return to growth in 2016 acts as an indication that the company’s long-term operational strategy is paying off. Once Switzerland’s new Gambling Act is signed into law – and barring any detrimental amendments –  the funds generated for good causes across Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons is likely to increase further still.

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