Arjan van ’t Veer assumed his new role as secretary general of the European Lotteries Association on March 1. As he embarks on what is set to be a busy 2017, the lottery industry veteran outlined the group’s top priorities for the year.
Created in 1983, the European Lotteries Association is the umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for public benefit. The group brings together state-owned and private operators – both profit and non-profit – from across the continent.
Van ’t Veer, 48, is a well-known figure within the European lottery community and a recognised expert in the field. The Dutchman started his career in the sector at the Nederlandse Staatsloterij in 1998, and most recently served as the director of corporate affairs at Nederlandse Loterij.
Throughout his career, van ’t Veer has been active at the international level as a participant and speaker at conferences and seminars. At the European Lotteries Association, he has been strongly involved in several working groups for many years, and finally in 2013 he joined the association’s executive committee.
“I am very honoured to have been appointed for this role,” van ’t Veer said. “The European Lotteries Association stands at an important crossroads. Stakeholders and the general public are changing their attitudes towards gambling, players and games are more than ever technology-driven and regulators are shifting their paradigms.
“Within the European Lotteries Association, members and suppliers are also getting new roles and responsibilities. Creating value for our members and important stakeholders such as players in the different countries, members, suppliers and regulators will be an important task in my new role.”
Speaking in more depth about his responsibilities at the association, van ’t Veer told TotallyGaming.com: “On a day-to-day basis, my team – three persons in Brussels and four in Lausanne – and myself are actively promoting and defending the interests of the European Lotteries members on a national, regional and European level.
“We do this primarily by closely monitoring what the relevant institutions – such as European Commission, European Parliament and European Council – are doing and getting involved when necessary. For example, participating in the consultation procedure with the European Commission when a new legislative piece of relevance for the gambling sector is being contemplated or organising a debate in order to raise awareness on a certain issue.”
He added: “We also work closely with the players from outside the EU arena – including the World Lottery Association – in order to represent our members’ interests in various international forums, but also to gather knowledge and exchange experiences and best practices.”
Looking ahead, van ’t Veer said the European Lotteries’ top priority for the year is the implementation of the group’s new strategy, in which the positioning of the association is the focal point. “The strategy itself is currently being discussed, and the intention is to make it sharp enough to address all the opportunities and threats of the shifting context that gambling sector is currently facing,” he stated.
“Given that the draft still needs to be presented for approval to the European Lotteries members during the general assembly in June – at the same time the new executive committee will also be appointed – it is difficult to discuss this issue in detail, but I do want to underline that I feel very strongly about safeguarding and contributing to the central and essential values of the European Lotteries.”
Following the general assembly in Krakow, Poland, the association will host the ninth edition of the European Lotteries Congress. According to van ’t Veer, this is when the new European Lotteries strategy is likely to be adopted.
“In line with this, the overall theme of the congress will also be ‘New Directions’. The idea behind it is to identify the main challenges our members are currently facing and choose the direction we want to take. One topic, for instance, is e-sports. Where are we going with this new development and should our members be active in this field? Directions such as building future-proof brands and the role of start-ups in the lottery world will also be discussed by the keynote speakers.”
TotallyGaming says: The European Lotteries 2015 Report on the Lottery Sector indicates that lotteries within Europe are generating more funds for good causes than ever before. According to van ’t Veer, this is a reflection of economic growth across the continent. “As the economic situation improves, players generally respond by spending more money on the lottery products,” he said. As lotteries continue to generate strong returns, the industry is doubling down on its efforts to fight illegal operators and explore new opportunities – two key issues that will be discussed in detail at the forthcoming European Lotteries Congress in June.