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Delegations from more than 30 countries of the world arrived
in Buenos Aires to attend the XX11 Congreso A.I.L.E. '98 last week.
The Congress was officially opened by the President of
LOTERIA NACIONAL SOCIEDAD DEL ESTADO, Dr. Fe1ix A. Gaibisso, who stated his
deep appreciation to the assembly for Loteria Nacional to hold the XXII
Dr Gaibisso said he believed that the seriousness with which
the speakers would develop their subjects, as well as the information that the
delegates would obtain on the latest technological advances offered in the
industrial and scientific fields, would serve as enriching tools for the
professional development of all those attending the Conference.
He also said, the extra personal contacts that delegates
will make would strengthen their relationships and benefit the imminent merger
of the two world's most important associations in the lottery industry.
The following is a representative sampling of papers
presented at the XX11 Congreso A.I.L.E. '98 in Buenos Aires. More presentations
will be added over the coming weeks.
President, British Columbia Lottery Corporation
The president of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation
and also president of Intertoto, Guy Simonis, was one of the first
He directed his address to the coming next merger of the
international organizations AILE and Intertoto.
"At the end of the second millennium, the institutions have
spread across the world in terms of products, games and structures, resembling
each other more than ever in their history. The rivalries of the past have
softened due to the comradeship, the competition was extinguished by
amalgamation, the opposition was replaced by cooperation.
And today, those who are new, ask "Why two world
organizations? What's the difference?" For years we've answered that the fires
of old slurs and slights still smoulder. But today is where we approach our
membership to say:
Let us discontinue the rivalry. Let us reach out and become
That same voice; those same views; those same sentiments;
were spoken by our colleagues at A.I.L.E. At WORLD MEET '96 in Vancouver, we
shared the same platform. Discussions took place. Meet ings were held.
Committees were formed. Reidar Nordby and Friedrich Stickler from the Intertoto
side. Matti Ahde, Michel Ansiaux and Ed Stanek from A.I.L.E. and of course our
Secretaries-General. Long discussions and tons of draft papers later we are
Therefore, the Executive Committe recommends that the
membership approve the formation of a new single world lottery organization, by
saying in effect: "If INTERTOTO says "yes" to a merger at next years INTERTOTO
Congress in Norway we, as "A.I.L.E." will say "yes" also, and dissolve
ourselves ready for a merger, and the new World Lottery Association will be
born. An Association that will reflect the aims and objectives of striving for
terrtorial integrity, public order and morality. Those three words sum up the
very essence of our existence. With "territorial integrity" being the most
threatened of our principles.
The time is right that we begin to establish a formal
alliance of a regional groupings. Both world and regional organizations have
distinctly different responsabilities.
The North American and European groups are active on the
political and judicial level. Atask, a world organization, such a proposed,
could not perform successfully. Therefore, our new organization of tomorrow
will offer a rightful place and representation to the geografic regions of Asia
Pacific/South America/Euro pe/Africa and North America.
To formalize that connection, each of the five regional
associations will elect a representative to the new world body, in add ition to
8 persons elected to the Executive Committee by the me mbership at large.
This new opportunity for connecting all alliances is long
overd ue. For much too long organizations such as NASPL have been lef t out of
the loop of international exchanges.
The membership of the new organization will be restricted to
those who operate lotteries as we now know them, sold at retail level. Our
member lottery companies may be also in the casino, keno or bingo business, but
those who are exclusively in such social gaming business will not find a home
To make all this happen, the Executive Committee asks you to
ap prove the resolution to say "yes" to a merger next year if INTE RTOTO says
"yes". You should know they have voted "yes" in principle at their Congress in
Berlin last year.
Hence we are also asking for in our resolution, that the
meetin g in 1999 in Oslo be designated an A.I.L.E. position, will be for one
year term until Oslo next year.
The question you may have: "After Oslo, who runs what?"
The respective Executive Committee have Committed that the
inaugural members of the new Board Of Directors will be all the sitting members
of both Executive Committees of the merging associations.
This means of course the sitting members who are prepared
to, continue to serve.
But, elections will not be held until Glasgow 2000.
This means that the activities during the Interim Period
from the day of formation of the World Lottery Association through to the
Annual General Meeting in Glasgow, 9 months after Norway in June of the year
2000, will be governed by this appointed Executire Committee.
At the same time, the Executive Committee asks that you
approve amending the bylaw dealing with the wind-up or dissolution of A.I.L.E.
so that the new'organization will become the recipient of A.I.L.E.'s remaining
Both Secretaries General will continue in their respective
positions working in close cooperation with President and Vice President to
prepare a transition plan upon which the Executive Committee to be elected in
Glasgow, will vote.
This nine-month interim period between Oslo and Glasgow will
also be intense period for the Regional Associations to elect and instruct
their nominees to the Executive Committee. These nominees will take their
position at the Glasgow Annual Meeting. Of course, the election of the regular
members of the Executive Committee as well as the election of President will be
feature of the Glasgow June General Meeting.
The interim period from Oslo to Glasgow will also be a time
for both Secretaries General To provide the plans for approval as to "who does
what, when and where".
Director, Access Gaming Systems - General Manager Interplay
Multimedia Pty Ltd - Editor Lottery Insider
New Games For a New Medium - The
The Internet is changing our lives in ways that we could not
have imagined just a few short years ago.
Commerce over the Internet is the fastest-growing sector of
the global economy, creating a revolution in the way we conduct our lives.
A recent US Government report has revealed that Internet
traffic is doubling every 100 days.
With the introduction of fibre optics into our homes and the
advent of Web TV, consumers will have a variety of multimedia features at their
This new technology will also provide a platform for
developers to launch completely new products that will appeal to people who are
not currently attracted to traditional lottery products.
And, with the high rate of investment in this medium the
current Internet limitations on the speed of data transmission will eventually
be overcome. We will then move to a situation where the Internet becomes the
most common means by which people source their entertainment and do business.
I don't have to tell you people that many traditional gaming
sectors are maturing and experiencing significantly slower growth, some
products are actually in decline.
Last year even though the sales of traditional lottery
products rose marginally, the lottery industries share of the overall gaming
market continued its decline.
The traditional gaming market, as we know it, is undergoing
fundamental change. The higher growth sectors appear to be VLTs and Sports
Without the extension of their product mix, lottery
organisations cannot realistically be expected to indefinitely increase their
annual contribution to Government revenue, particularly in the light of the
increasing alternatives available.
Consequently, the lottery industry must move quickly to
embrace new technology, such as the Internet, and reduce its reliance on the
traditional lottery products, if the Government's revenue stream is to be
Unfortunately, it would appear that all to often Internet
gaming is not understood - or - is seen as a threat by traditional lottery
The truth is, the Internet provides a rich interactive
multimedia environment which can be exploited to provide a far higher
entertainment content to games than what is achieved today using traditional
It is impossible to accurately quantify the size or timing
of the opportunities created by new forms of interactive home gambling.
However, a recent Australian report listed interactive home
gambling as the second most important source of revenue generation - for
broadband service provision to the home. The report placed home gambling ahead
of pay TV and video on demand.
Some market analysts tell us that more than $10 billion will
be gambled online by the year 2000 as operators take advantage of the huge
audience reach and cost savings of the Internet.
Online gambling turnovers have the potential to dwarf those
of other interactive services, tapping into an existing traditional gambling
market valued at over $700 billion in Europe and the U.S. alone.
In sum, the Internet can replace several mediums of
communication and make gambling transactions easier, faster, and cheaper.
You will be surprised to find out just how easy it is to
gamble on the Internet. As you know there are many ways to find a particular
Once you have contacted the site you will be asked to
electronically establish your identity.
You will be asked for a user I.D. and password.
You will establish an electronic account or purse as it is
sometimes called, and transfer money from your bank account into your
The site will provide software for you to download to your
PC so that you can play games or make bets on sporting events.
Having established your identity, opened an account,
deposited money in the account and downloaded the software - you are now ready
to play the games or make your bets.
You will either win or lose.
Depending on which of these two outcomes happen during your
session, you now have the choice of topping up your account, playing some more
games with your winnings -or- ask for your winnings or original stake back
(which will be electronically transferred to your nominated bank account).
That's what will happen if you choose to play at a
government licensed operation.
However, there is a DARK SIDE
Today's Internet gaming market consists mainly of operators
situated in remote locations not found on many maps.
Many of these operators have merely sought to buy so-called
integrity from these jurisdictions.
For online gamblers, it is difficult, if not impossible, to
gauge the credibility and soundness of these operations. How can players be
sure that they are placing bets where they think the casino is located. Is it
really operating from the jurisdiction where it is licensed or is it somewhere
Players currently have no protection from unscrupulous
Net folklore abounds with stories of players who never
receive their own stakes back, let alone their winnings. And of course these
issues are not the only ones a player should be concerned with.
What degree of comfort does a player have that the games are
being conducted honestly.
In games where chance is an element how does a player know
that the random number generator within the host's micro-processor is not
rigged to cheat the player.
Finally how secure is the operators Financial Transaction
What is the answer to combat the DARK SIDE, well its
certainly not Prohibition, all prohibition will do is encourages the
development of underground markets and organized crime.
In any event the horse has already bolted. As of early this
year, there were approximately 35 online casinos that accept real money
transactions and an equal number of online sports-books.
So - having raised the question of integrity in connection
with online games and the systems that support them, what should an Internet
Gaming System for a lottery look like, what should it do and how should it all
Such a system should consist of a suite of software programs
for both the player at the front end and the operators at the back-end which
work together in a high performance client server architecture.
The front end games should be:
- written in a language, such as Java, which allows them to
be ported to different platforms;
- work with standard Microsoft and Netscape Internet
- be very entertaining and a lot of fun to play; and
- should come with a games development kit which allows
game developers to develop games for the platform independent of the
The Back-end systems should be:
- Secure, reliable, high performance, auditable gaming
systems - based on a high volume transaction processing operating system such
- record all transactions in an industry standard database
scuh as Oracle;
- flexible and secure payment systems to avoid repudiation
risk (e.g. SET (based on Mastercard/Visa standard));
- provide the highest level of security available including
128 bit key encryption, sophisticated operator access control, comprehensive
software system testing to protect against the system being compromised and, as
no Lottery wants to be a trail blazer, such a system should preferably already
have undergone a rigorous testing and certification process.
At this point I would like to introduce you to just a few of
the games that we have developed at Access for this new medium.
What are the issues for established lottery operators
entering Internet gaming. You can see some of these on the slide behind me,
however, leaving out the issues of security which could be the subject of an
entire presentation in its own right, I believe the three main social issues,
- Cross boarder gaming - It is
virtually impossible to prevent other operators coming into your jurisdiction.
As I said before, Prohibition is not the answer, it only ever encourages the
darker side of our community to flourish at the expense of society as a whole.
Legislation is the better way, it delivers the taxes to the state and
regulation protects the players from corrupt operators;
- Under age gaming - This can
be solved thoughts the use of digital certificates which would be obtained by
players via banks or other approved agencies after providing 100 point
identification. This player authentication process ensures that under age
gaming does not occur. It sets a much higher standard for prevention than what
is currently employed by land based operators in trying to prevent minors from
playing gaming devices in their establishments; and
- Problem gaming - Internet
gaming operators could be made to limit the loss that any individual player can
make in any one month to say $1,000. If players have to use digital
certificates to play then this rule can be easily enforced by the operator. A
central on-line limit clearing system could be put in place to prevent players
from simply moving from one gaming site to the next spending $1,000 in each one
per month. This type of process to prevent problem gaming would almost be
impossible to implement in the real world. In summary Internet gaming allows
for much more control over players through the use of technology to accurately
identify them and measure and control their gaming habits.
However, there are numerous other considerations to be
understood and resolved before you can go forward. For instance what is the
government's position in your jurisdiction? Will it be proactive and insist
that interactive home gaming be subject to strict licensing and regulatory
conditions. Or, will it attempt to enforce an unrealistic and unworkable form
of blanket prohibition.
If you manage to procure the Government's approval, what
business model will your organisation pursue:
- Will you restrict selling to you existing jurisdiction
and introduce all the controls necessary to enforce the policy;
- Will you consider a Multi - jurisdiction model with the
benefits of tax sharing and cost reductions; or
- perhaps you will go international and sell to the
Who will you allow to play?
What Games will you offer:
- traditional lottery games;
- new multi-player games;
What will your Marketplace strategy be:
I would advise you now to consider the issues and take a
pro-active approach in your jurisdiction to establish your agenda rather than
have someone set it for you.
Which games have the most player appeal to Internet
At the Intertoto technology conference, in Quebec earlier
this year, people from the lottery industry gave us the benefit of their
opinion. As you can see, not many thought that traditional lottery games would
be all that appealing when played on the Internet.
Our own experience suggests that the Internet player will
demand games that deliver interactivity and instant gratification. Traditional
lottery Games like Lotto and Keno will need to be significantly enhanced to
satisfy these requirements.
Lottery operators will also need to give careful
consideration as to whether they should integrate their internet games with
their existing systems.
The positive side to integrating the two systems is that
you will be able to link to your existing large jackpots, this would be very
attractive to online players.
The negative side is that integrating existing systems will
increase the security risk to those systems, and, require much longer
development lead times. In addition, the existing system may not be suitable
for delivering the new type of interactive and multi-player games that the
internet market will demand.
Given players demand for interactivity, Instant lotteries or
scratchies are an ideal product for the Internet. They are environmental
friendly and hot topical themes can be introduced very quickly. Any number of
price points can be offered and, there are also no inventory issues associated
Also, there is virtually no limit to the number of games an
operator can have on the market at the one time. They also allow marketers to
try out new ideas and concepts without incurring large costs.
So - for the last 15 minutes we have had a very quick look
at the Internet commerce and gaming markets, considered some of the issues, saw
how players establish accounts and play games and we have even looked at some
games that have been developed especially for this new medium.
But what stage is Internet gaming at to-day, will it all
happen this year, next year or when.
Well I can't answer that question for the rest of the world,
but for the next few minutes I will try to tell you where Internet gaming is in
Australia as of to-day.
In Australia today it is almost impossible to pick up a
paper or magazine without some article heralding the imminent arrival of
interactive home gambling.
Australia has taken a leading position in legal, regulated
and taxed Internet gaming.
Earlier this year a conference called "Gambling Technology
and Society" was held in Sydney. It was attended by over 130 participants from
Operators, Regulators and Government.
It led to a new industry association called the On-Line
Gambling Association of Australia being formed to promote a regulated and
As of right now, a significant number of established
Australian gaming operators have either applied for, or, have already been
granted a license to implement money based Internet gaming. How have they been
able to do this.
Well a few years ago the Australian State and Territory
Governments decided that a cooperative approach is the only effective means of
regulating interactive home gambling products and ensuring that there is no
erosion of their gambling taxation revenue.
The legislation that has already been introduced in five
jurisdictions seeks to minimise the impact of products provided from overseas
or illegal sources by maintaining (and creating) obstacles to their advertising
and marketing and by providing alternative products where the entitlements of
players are protected.
The state Governments did not seek to introduce prohibition.
The legislation does not propose that the Federal Government attempt to block
the entry of overseas products delivered over the internet or by foreign
To sum up, the objects of the legislation that has been
- facilitating the offering of interactive home gambling
- protecting the rights of players;
- enabling free access to the National market; and
- Promoting competition and quality of services to
The legislation also seeks to ensure:
- the integrity of industry participants;
- honest conduct of interactive home gambling;
- minimise the incidents of harm caused by problem
- allow for the proper accounting of taxes.
As our time has now run out, I will try to quickly sum up
our discussion today:
- Internet gaming represents an enormous business
opportunity for Lotteries to arrest their declining market share;
- There are a lot of new factors to consider including
different customer demographics, new types of games and new forms of
- There are many Government, legal, probity, social,
economic and technical issues to be understood and resolved;
- Take a pro-active approach in your jurisdiction to
establish your agenda rather than being on the receiving end; and
- Make sure you choose your partners with the right probity
Vice President and General Manager UWin, GTech Corporation
New Business of Internet Games - Its Not just Lotto
To maximize the value of the Internet to
government-sponsored 1otteries, it is useful to learn from the success of the
non-lottery Internet games industry. This talk will focus on key learning from
that industry to provide a framework for growing value in the Lottery industry.
The talk address the following issues:
A background on the evolution of non-1ottery games on the
Internet. The emergence of multi-player games and the transition of the
Internet from an information-driven medium to an entertainment-driven medium
will be presented.
Multi-player games -
examples-Game style trends
Multi-player games are a new class of games that could be
offered by the lottery industry. The demographics of multi-player game players
are highly attractive to the lottery industry. They are younger than typical
lottery players and have significant disposable income. By attracting players
from this demographic, lotteries can expand their player base, increase
revenues and mitigate the current trends in lottery player demographics. To
achieve this, however, we in the lottery industry need to expand our concepts
of the nature of a game. Examples of successful multi-player games will be
presented, along with a brief description of how they are played. Common
functions in Internet games such as "Chat", "Virtual Identity," and
player-ranking systems will be discussed. These functions are key to successful
Internet games. They cannot be provided in a traditional retail point-of-sale
The way to pay for games in the non-lottery market continues
to evolve. Lessons from the pay-per-play, subscription, and advertising-driven
businesses of current Internet game publishers will be discussed.
Internet Games as
Internet gamers are spending more time with their computers.
The time that they are spending, time they previously spent with other
entertainment media, such as radio, television, or movies. The quality of the
game content on the Internet is rapidly improving to address this trend toward
use of the Internet for popular entertainment.
Impact of new games on the Lottery Industry -
Lottery-sponsored Internet games will have to compete well in the marketplace
of highly interactive, graphically rich entertainment produced by the leading
entertainment companies. It will not be sufficient to simply extend existing
core lottery products onto the Internet
Vice President, International Sales & Marketing Scientific
Our Shrinking World
I don't know if any of you have noticed lately, but our
world is shrinking. It's getting smaller. It's becoming more crowded. There are
more people, more businesses, and whole lot more competitors. Some folks might
say, too damn many competitors. But I guess that is all a matter of perception.
Did you ever go back to visit one of your old school rooms?
a room in which you may have spent hours as a youngster? If so, you probably
have the feeling that everything seems to have shrunk. The desks in which you
once sat, now look tiny. In fact, so me of us would have a little trouble
squeezing into them today. The chalkboards don't seem as large and imposing as
they once appeared. And for that matter, neither do the teachers.
Well, that schoolroom has not changed. It did not shrink. It
is not compressed. It is you and I that have changed. We have grown mentally
and physically since those childhood days. And as we have adjusted to our
gradual growth, our past environment takes on a much different appearance and
meaning. Our perception changes as we grow and develop.
And so it is in our Lottery World. Our world is not really
shrinking. It just seems that way. What is really happening is the fact that we
are growing. We are expanding as individuals, as organisations and as an
industry. We are growing in our experience; our knowledge and our capabilities.
By any measurement, we are bigger, stronger and better.
The globalisation of the lottery industry occurs for the
same reason that it occurs in other industries. Our communication is better
today than it was five or ten yeras ago. Thanks to confefences like this, we
are able to meet face-to-face to discuss common challenges and become aware of
new opportunities. We read the same trade magazines and become informed of one
another's successes and, in some cases, failures.
Of course the Internet offers even more communication
possibili ties as well as the potential for expanding our marketplace. We can
now talk, ask, inform, debate, distribute and sell at the click of a few
computer keys, to even the most remote areas of the world. Truly, our world is
But the changes that we at Scientific Games appreciate the
most , are the changes in our customer's attitudes. Resistance to change and
national isolationism is also shrinking. The "not-invented-here" syndrome is
fast disappearing, and is being replaced with more openness and global
interest. Our North American customers are now willing to travel to Europe to
see some of our new concepts in gaming systems. Our European customers are more
open to new marketing techniques and technology from North America and other
parts of the world.
One of the comments that we used to hear so often when
visiting the lottery was, "oh, but that technique would not work here. You see,
we are different here." Right! How different are you? Do we cross a border and
suddenly see people with two heads and three eyes? I don't think so.
Individual wants and desires are not that different,
regardless of a person's nationality. A fartmer in Iowa has the same concerns
as a farmer in France. They both worry about the weather; about their crops or
their animals. And they worry about prices. But they also like to relax
occasionally, and they turn to various forms of recreation. That certainly
could include the put chase of a lottery ticket. And if you can sell lottery
tickets to farmers in Iowa, you can sell them to farmers in France. Yes , there
are differences, but there are far more similarities. And those similarities
become the basis on which globalisation grows. It helps account for our
Our economies have also become intertwined. We can no longer
dismiss a crop failure in some remote part of the world as being
inconsequential to our domain. It affects all of us, regardless of where we
live. The recent difficulties in the Asian financia1 markets have created more
than a small ripple throught he world market. They have produced a global tidal
wave of economic chaos and concern.
Our lotteries are also intermixed. When a breach of lottery
security makes headlines in one place, it affects us all. It casts aspersions
on our entire industry. When a U.S. Gaming Commission attacks American
lotteries, it is really attacking lotteries worldwide. It has a negative impact
on the abilities of lotteries everywhere to raise revenues for good causes.
Conversely, when lottery successes occur, we all benefit. We
sh are in these positive experiences and profit by the creative talents of
others. We are able to avoid pitfalls and marketing landmines. We capitalise on
achievements regardless of the point of origin.
Unfortunately not all lotteries are yet tuned to the global
bandwidth. These lotteries profess an interest in worldwide lottey activities.
But they still cling to old, obsolete practices o f nationalism. They sometimes
put politics ahead of good business. They sacrifice economy and proficiency to
avoid criticism from the self-serving local intersts. Like the ostich, they
bury their heads in the sand and hope outside ideas and technology will go
They have yet to learn that good business is good politics.
Business today is a global enterprise that cannot be restricted by archaic
policies that demand only domestic solutions. No others need aply. Today, our
community is the world. We stand together with common goals and ambitions. And
when we limit ourselves to local solutions, we inhibit our chances of continued
Yes, the world is shrinking. Boundaries are blurred.
Territories are enlarged. People travel more and communicate better. Suspicions
and distrusts have given way to global partnerships. WE in the lottery industry
are no longer afraid to import techniques and technology from afar. On the
contrary, we welcome it.
We will see more globalisation in the next millenium. More
meetings like this. More sharing of ideas and expertise. And I for one believe
that it will not only make for a better lottery industry, it will make for a
President And C.E.O. Norsk Tipping AS, -The Norwegian National
The Corporate Image Strategy of Norsk Tipping
What are the characteristics of a traditional state owned or
state controlled company, like the National Telecom Company, the National Post
Office, the National Railways, in some countries the National Alcohol
Distribution System, -and the traditional National Lottery?
They were all traditionally monopolies with heavy
organisations, managed by strict rules and regulations rather than objectives.
Flexibility and competitiveness with the customers in focus could hardly be
called the characteristics of these kinds of businesses. Now all these
monopolies are broken, and the national lotteries are probably the only
monopoly left. This is logic, because we are national fiscal instruments, but
at the same time it leaves us with some challenges. We must prove to the
politicians that we deserve our positions and run efficiently without free
competition, and we must develop a similar trust with the public.
The establishment of Norsk
Norsk Tipping was founded in 1948, in a time when these
monopolies were very strong, and many decades should pass before customer
orientation started coming into the business cultures.
This means that the image of the lottery from the start was
influenced by its monopoly situation; it was generally prohibited from
marketing, and it was run by strict rules and regulations. There was an age
limit of 18 years to participate, and players even had to fill in their
business title on the bet slip! And of course we have to admit that a business
environment like this would have to influence the entire organisation.
Such a situation is comfortable and was working as long as
there was a real monopoly situation. But as soon as competition started to
develop, we could have been in trouble. Therefore in the eighties, we put our
own image on the agenda, realising that we had to be more customer oriented,
and we had to get prepared for a tougher competition, not only with other
lotteries, but also with entertainment generally.
But first of all, why is this important?
Corporate image, profile, position, impression, reputation,
-a beloved child has many names. And even if these expressions can be
interpreted somewhat differently, they cover the same reality. And that is what
we think, feel or mean about someone, whether it is a person, a company or an
In an increasingly competitive market, you have to penetrate
a lot of visual noise to be seen. Technology changes are also influencing
heavily, and with digitalisation of media, we can only imagine how purchase
patterns will be changed in the future. Even the need for entertainment and
games will be different, when people get used to get all kind of entertainment
on demand into their living rooms.
In our lottery, approximately 25% of the turnover is
generated purely by impulse purchases, -that means the customer has not decided
to participate in our games when he or she enters into the store. Therefore it
is of the greatest importance to give the customer the right impulse in the
moment of purchase.
Establishing a visual
Therefore, we started off by looking at our visual
appearance, which was not very good. We had a rather diffuse appearance at the
retailers, where our different product logos, -which at that time had no family
resemblance-, made up our retailer signs. Our new corporate visual identity
programme was launched in 1990, coinciding with the presentation of the new
name of the top division soccer in Norway, Tippeligaen (The Betting League). By
this strategy, we were able to develop a strong visual sign uniforming the
entire retailer network, and at the same time have all top division soccer
fields uniformed with the same sign. And this would be continuously shown on TV
every with Saturday's soccer match. And of course this also helped
strengthening the awareness of the close links between Norwegian sports,
Norwegian soccer and Norsk Tipping.
Consumer surveys quickly showed us that this was a hit.
Within a year we were rated among the best known logos in Norway, alongside the
Post Office and the Red Cross.
This was a very important goal, since an eye-catching
visuality is very important if you are to succeed getting your message across.
As an example I can mention that the volume of printed information in the World
is doubling every 5th year, and an average consumer meets approximately 3 000
commercial messages every day!
Another practical reason for this work was that we knew that
we were transforming from offline to online technology in 1992, -from being a
document processing company to being an IT company. This would open better
possibilities for product development, end we needed one visual identity,
rather than one identity for each game.
Building a corporate
But an image is not at all only visual. It is a composition
of many different aspects. And in our three year running Business Strategy Plan
from 1992, we stated the importance of building a solid corporate image. Our
target was, and still is to be among the ten best companies in Norway with
respect to image.
In our strategy plan, which every employee feels an
ownership to, we state that:
- The corporate profile is developed through our
appearance, our visual form of expression, our communication and the quality of
what we deliver.
- Our profile shall be formed by the values the company
wants to be associated with, responsibility, security, advanced technology,
willingness to change and creativity.
- Our work shall be characterised by a responsible and
positive attitude towards the internal and external environment. It is
important to continuously develop our corporate culture.
- All our marketing and other communication shall support
the corporate profile. All product marketing shall also include the corporate
- Tasteful and comprehensive design with origin in our
corporate design program shall extensively be used as a strategic competitive
- Changing values like more emphasis on moral and ethical
values in our society shall be reflected in our communication.
The way we linked up to Norwegian soccer through the Betting
League (Tippeligaen) gave us important experience to continue this path. We
therefore made an extensive programme on how to link up to our beneficiaries in
the best possible way. During the last few years, we have mounted high quality
brushed stainless steel and enamel plaques at all sports buildings and arenas
in Norway that have received funds from the lottery. This work has been done in
co-operation with the regional departments of the National Sports Federation.
The result has been a wide understanding of the company's role in the society,
and more than 90% of the public now supports the way our profits are allocated!
That is an important loyalty declaration!
But to make sure that our image was not only on the surface,
we have been working steadily on communicating other aspects of our business
than just the games and beneficiaries. Our security has been high on the
agenda, and we are of course very pleased to have been the first lottery to be
approved according to the Intertoto Security Control Standard.
Strong image survey results are image-building The annual
image surveys are addressing several target groups: consumers, financial
institutions, media and the business community. Therefore it is important to
make sure that all these groups are aware of the company, hopefully with a
Building media trust
But everyone knows that you will never be able to obtain
100% security, although you can get very close to it. And that we experienced
in February 1995, when we were unfortunate for the first time in 47 years to
send out a wrong result to the public. This was a major news story at that
time, and Wars, earthquakes etc. were wiped off the media picture.
But at that time, we probably made the most important single
image-building effort ever. The way we handled that situation gave us the
approval of the whole nation, and all the media honoured us for a responsible
attitude. And our advertising agencies estimated that this event was worth
millions of dollars. Probably they were right, but to us it was only important
to protect the trust to the public, through openness and responsibility, and
that we did.
Openness with financial and business matters Openness has
also been a key word in other contexts. In earlier times, information from the
company such as financial results etc. were kept confidential until approved by
the Ministry. But during the recent years, as a part of tour Image strategy, we
have been very open about these matters, and we make sure that the commercial
business papers are getting these kinds of information very early. So today, it
is part of our image to be among the first companies in Norway with annual
results in the pink press.
Relations to the business
The Norwegian business environment is a new target group for
our company, not as players of course, but as part of our image strategy. We
want all major businesses in Norway to understand our role as a financial
instrument, and among other things, we send our annual report to the 100
largest companies. And the annual report itself is made with lots of efforts,
to make sure it belongs among the best rated in the country.
Responsibility to problem
Over the years, we have seen negative debates on the effects
of gambling coming up. That could be limiting of top prizes, compulsive
gambling or under-age gambling. When these debates occur, we try to be active,
and preferably pro-active, so that we can not only defend our position, but
also take part in the debate as a responsible resource. When the political
discussion on top prizes started to come in Norway in 1992, we had already made
a scientific study of the effects of winning big prizes. The study was made by
the two most recognised professors in Psychology at the University in Oslo, and
it killed this debate very efficiently. And it contributed to build our image
as a responsible company.
Exposing company skills and
Another field we have been focusing on with respect to image
building is the area of technological and product development. When nearly half
the population are your customers every week, it is no wonder that they get a
feeling that the lottery is operated by sophisticated technology as long as the
system works and you are giving the satisfactory service. And launching a new
game every year also helps building the image of creativity and good prospects
for the future.
Having a weekly TV game-show on the main TV channel in the
prime time every Saturday evening, also helps building the image if it is done
right. We have been extremely fortunate in finding a very good TV concept with
a very attractive hostess, and the fact that we through our registration system
can find the winners and actually get them into the show, also adds to the
impression of high technology.
Common to all our communication is that we are demanding to
ourselves. We shall always put quality first, both in marketing and in other
communication. The way we communicate is the single most important factor that
builds our image. It is always a challenge to keep up your image.
Just imagine how devastating a scandal could be to such a
company. Therefore it is important to have business continuity plans, and
always try to be ahead of the developments of possible threats.
Attitude to environmental
Such an example could be our development of a new
environmentally friendly paper in the early 90's for our coupons, that were
bleached naturally, and which the environmental organisations would recognise.
Now, all our hundreds of millions of bet-slips are produced on this paper, and
all our instant tickets are produced on recycled and recyclable paper. And to
present our new environmental position, we chose the 25th Anniversary of the
World Wide Fund for Nature in Norway, where King Harald was the founder, and he
therefore received the first new tickets at a reception hosted by the WWF. And
the next tickets were given to Prince Philip of Great Britain, who has been the
World President of the WWF until recently. Our message was that we were saving
the environment and costs, since these new raw materials and processes were
actually cheaper than the old ones. And if we had done nothing, we could sooner
or later have expected an unpleasant confrontation on these issues with the
What has been the result of all this, so far?
In 1990 we were rated number 44 among the best corporate
profiles in Norway.
In 1994 we had improved to no. 11, in 1995 we improved
further to no. 10 and in 1996 we improved to no. 5.
And in 1997 we climbed right to the top and became no 1. And
in 1998 we became no 1 for the second time.
As a closing remark, I would say that of course we are proud
of this result on behalf of the company and all our employees, from the
switchboard to the sales reps. But at the same time, I keep reminding myself
that it is still more important to stick to our strategy plan and be among the
ten best on a permanent basis, rather than being number one only for once or
twice. We have now two possible ways to go: sideways or downwards. I am not
very concerned about that. To me it is most important to see that we will
belong to the top ten corporate images also in the years to come. In that way
we are best capable of keeping our company and services on top of the customers
mind in a positive way, -with a high purchase rate and a good player loyalty as
We shall meet the digital age with internal values like
competence, creativity and capacity. But just as important is that we have the
trust from the public and the trust and support from our politicians when we
move towards our future goals.
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