A major political success for Loterie Romande
The date of 11 March 2012 will go down as a milestone in the history of Loterie Romande: on that day the Swiss people approved the new Article 106 of the Swiss Federal Constitution on gambling by a majority of 87% of the votes cast.
On the back of the success of the “Gaming for the public good” popular referendum initiative, this revised article of the Constitution incorporates the key elements of the initiative. Not only does it clarify the mission of gambling and gaming operators in Switzerland; above all it guarantees that profits from lottery games and betting will continue to be disbursed to charitable, sporting and cultural bodies and projects. This noble principle that profits made by lotteries must be returned to the community which generated them in the first place is now enshrined in Switzerland’s Federal Constitution!
At the same time, the new Article 106 also confirms in the Constitution the powers of the cantons in respect of lotteries. After seeing its very existence come under threat, Loterie Romande will now depend solely on the political will of the six French-speaking cantons. Its survival for the foreseeable future therefore seems to be assured. After a decade or more of bitter struggle against the onslaught of Federal bureaucracy and long drawn out court proceedings, the popular vote on 11 March delivered a stunning victory for Loterie Romande. Moreover this victory has come after the Swiss Supreme Court rescinded in full on 28 January 2011 the prohibition of the Tactilo electronic lottery which had been imposed by the Federal Commission on Gaming Houses.
Almost as if history itself was exerting an influence over events this success happens to coincide with Loterie Romande’s 75th anniversary to be celebrated in the course of 2012.
Last Wednesday on the premises of the Vaud Association for Home Help and Care (AVASAD), Loterie Romande held its annual press conference in Lausanne and announced its operating results for 2011 under the chairmanship of Mr. Jean-Pierre Beuret, in the presence of Managing Director Mr. Jean-Luc Moner-Banet and the President of the Conference of Cantonal Distributing Bodies of the Profits of Loterie Romande (CPOR), Mr. Daniel Monnin.
2011 profit: 205.2 million francs for social action, culture, sport and the environment
Following the consolidation of its activities in 2010, Loterie Romande reported slight growth at the end of its 2011 financial year. Gross gaming revenues (GGR) were 3.4% higher at a figure of 370 million francs. The net profit in turn advanced by 2.3% to reach 205.2 million francs. While sales increased, the policy of cutting operating costs also produced results and helps to explain the higher profit of the business. Loterie Romande continued its “Responsible Gaming” policy, begun more than 10 years ago, and so enhanced the measures taken to prevent and combat excessive gambling.
Very good results
Turning to the accounts, the GGR – i.e. the stakes less the winnings collected by players – rose slightly to reach 370 million francs, representing an increase of 3.4% against 2010 (358 million). This increase is explained by higher sales of scratch cards, but largely also by the success of the new Euro Millions formula which since May 2011 has offered players the possibility of taking part in a further weekly prize draw on Tuesday.
The net profit for its part stood at 205.2 million francs. This figure is 2.3% higher than in 2010, the previous record year in the history of Loterie Romande (200.5 million). The reversal of provisions and the reduction of operating costs also explain this excellent result.
With 285 staff members on 1 January 2012, Loterie Romande also paid out 69.2 million francs by way of commissions on sales to nearly 2,800 points of sale in 2011. In this way it makes a significant contribution to the activity of neighbourhood outlets (news stands and café-restaurants), both in the urban centres and in outlying districts and villages.
Apportionment of the profit
Some 3,000 public interest foundations and institutions benefited from support given by Loterie Romande in 2011. On average, more than 500,000 francs were distributed in this way every day to charitable, social and sporting organisations and activities in French-speaking Switzerland.
After payment of the 0.5% tax on the GGR intended for prevention and the fight against excessive gaming, the profit for the year 2011 is apportioned as follows: 5/6ths to the cantonal distribution entities, i.e. more than 170 million francs to support projects in the fields of social action, culture or the environment and 1/6th for sport,
i.e. 34 million francs.
The new internet site of the Cantonal Distributing Bodies, www.entraide.ch, gives further information about the criteria for granting donations; these criteria are transparent and clearly defined by framework conditions. Information is also provided about the amounts paid out to the different associations.
Since March 2009, Loterie Romande has benefited from the important ISO 27001 certification which provides an international guarantee that the enterprise applies and respects the best possible procedures in the area of security and risk management. Awarded for a three-year period, this certification has been the subject of intermediate audits and was successfully renewed in March 2012. Loterie Romande welcomes the renewal of this certification which attests to the fairness and quality of the games placed on the market.
Loterie Romande also holds a number of “responsible gaming” certifications which bear witness to the sustained efforts made by the Institution for over ten years already in the field of the prevention and fight against excessive gaming. Issued by the European Lotteries Association and the World Lottery Association. These certifications will be reviewed next June and September in line with the provisions laid down for their renewal.
1937-2012: 75 years of commitment to the community
Founded in 1937, Loterie Romande is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012. To mark this event it is partnering a number of music festivals which will be held in the French-speaking part of Switzerland on 16 to 24 June next. In six cities – Delémont, Lausanne, Fribourg, Monthey, Neuchâtel and Geneva – “Loterie Romande” podiums
will enable an extensive public audience to discover or rediscover musical talents from French-speaking Switzerland, both stars or young prodigies in a convivial and festive atmosphere. The concerts will be free and open to everyone.
Mr. Jean-Pierre Beuret, Chairman
Tel.: +41 (0) 21 348 13 13
Mr. Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, Managing Director
Tel.: +41 (0) 21 348 13 13
Mr. Daniel Monnin, Chairman CPOR
Tel.: +41 (0) 21 348 13 28