Executive Director's Message

Message from the Executive Director

Luca Esposito

Luca Esposito

The profound effect technologies have on the global regulated lottery and sports betting ecosystem has never been more prevalent across so many aspects of WLA work than in 2023. They are at the heart of innovative, global solutions for regulated lotteries and sports betting operators and their customers, and have contributed to a boom in online betting and gaming.

In 2023, the WLA increased the number of its informative events for members, broadened its partnerships, and ramped up efforts to combat illegal betting, sports competition manipulation, to maintain sports integrity for the global lottery, sports betting and sports ecosystem.

Our events, some organized with regional partners, provided members with a platform to exchange experiences and get the latest developments from industry experts. Topics examined how technology is being used by our industry for marketing, achieving responsible gaming environments, maintaining operational security, and the global fight against illegal betting and gaming.

The WLA Security and Risk Management Committee (SRMC) completed the next iteration of the WLA Security Control Standard (WLA-SCS:2024), which will be published in 2024. This involved a full review, including updating important controls for members deploying cloud security. Additionally, results of a survey by the SRMC to better understand member risk management security practices will allow the WLA to focus on important member requirements, including enhanced collaboration, education, and support for risk assessment to determine materiality, risk identification, and controls assessment.

We assisted members in addressing illegal betting operations and how to preserve the integrity of sport through the work of two committees: the WLA Betting Integrity on Sports and Horse Racing Committee (BISHRC) and the Illegal Lotteries and Betting Committee (ILBC).

The BISHRC developed an insightful guide for horse race betting marketing and how to achieve responsible and competitive offers. The ILBC launched an innovative project with the University of Lausanne, which has developed a position paper on the methodology required to develop an algorithm for robustly estimating illegal betting markets around the world. The paper will be discussed at a workshop in 2024, with interested stakeholders from sports federations, sports monitoring bodies, law enforcement and intergovernmental agencies gathering in Lausanne.

"In 2023, the WLA increased the number of its informative events for members, broadened its partnerships, and ramped up efforts to combat illegal betting, sports competition manipulation, to maintain sports integrity for the global lottery, sports betting and sports ecosystem."

The ILBC also developed important materials to help facilitate the work of members in relation to illegal betting and gaming markets, comprising standardized definitions that clarify different types of gaming and betting operators, and a best practice guide for multi-jurisdictional games and lotteries in general for the protection of their trademarks.

Both committees developed partnerships with other stakeholders engaged in the global effort to combat match fixing and other illicit activities. The WLA was pleased to accept my nomination to the Asian Racing Federation Council on Anti-Illegal Betting and Related Financial Crime, thereby strengthening our collaboration and enhancing our intelligence sharing.

It was a year of great achievement for the United Lotteries for Integrity in Sports (ULIS), our sister organization, with whom we work closely on matters related to maintaining global sports integrity. The WLA supported the organization of the first ULIS Integrity Seminar, which attracted key stakeholders such as sports federations, representatives from law enforcement, and other international organizations including the Council of Europe.  

WLA made considerable progress to digitalize and streamline communications materials. In 2024, we expect to roll out our main communications products in Webflow, a new, more user-friendly, and accessible engagement experience across mobile phones and other devices.

The WLA Global Lottery Data Compendium (GLDC) was completely revised and revamped with a contemporary design in celebration of this flagship publication’s tenth anniversary. New features include summary infographics and text callouts, a host of visual and styling improvements to enhance readability, and expanded coverage of key areas of interest, such as returns to good causes. This new edition is the most comprehensive and accessible volume in the series to date. Additionally, the directory of individual member profiles presenting the data underpinning the GLDC results and findings was entirely updated and made available online, to the WLA membership.  

We also began preparations, together with host lottery Française des Jeux (groupe FDJ), for the next World Lottery Summit, to be held in Paris, France, in October 2024. We look forward to delivering an outstanding congress that will provide attendees with a high-quality and informative business agenda and state-of-the-art tradeshow.  

Throughout 2023, the WLA successfully completed the mandate to develop a new strategic plan, which was approved by the Executive Committee, and will enable WLA to better serve its global membership going forward.

I would like to conclude by thanking Loterie Romande, on behalf of the WLA and ULIS, for its excellent support in human resources, IT, and accounting departments, and for kindly providing office space to both associations.

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