Loterie Romande’s 2016 results: CHF 216.8 million disbursed for good causes
After a year of consolidation of its results in 2015, Loterie Romande returned to encouragingly robust growth in 2016, with the highlight of a record Swiss Loto jackpot. Gross gaming revenues (GGR) rose by 5.7% to CHF 398 million. Net profit, i.e. the sum disbursed for the public good, totalled CHF 216.8 million. In an increasingly competitive landscape in the gambling sector, the diverse range of games on offer from Loterie Romande, the high quality of its distribution network and tight control exerted over operating costs paid off, helping to contribute to a small increase in the level of profits available for allocation to social-welfare, cultural and sports projects.
The text of the new legislation on gambling will shortly be finalised by the Federal Assembly, Switzerland’s parliament. Loterie Romande considers the draft bill submitted by the Federal Council to be both consistent and well balanced, taking the interests of all parties involved into account. It is vital this draft legislation, considering the balanced positions achieved, especially with regard to social responsibility, 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.
On Tuesday, at Loterie Romande’s head office in avenue de Provence in Lausanne, Loterie Romande convened its annual press conference to announce its operating results for 2016, under the Chairmanship of Mr Jean-Pierre Beuret, alongside Loterie Romande’s CEO, Mr Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, and the Chairman of the Conference of the Chairs of the Distributing Bodies (CPOR), Mr Jean-Maurice Tournay.
Results up slightly year on year
In 2016, gross gaming revenues (GGR), i.e. the sum of money staked less winnings paid out to players, totalled CHF 398 million, a rise of 5.7% on 2015 levels (CHF 377 million). The record jackpot of CHF 70 million offered on Swiss Loto boosted sales and lay behind this increase that was also driven by the success of scratch-cards.
Net profit for the year totalled CHF 216.8 million. This total, allocated to the cantonal bodies tasked with redistributing Loterie Romande’s profits and to sport, was slightly up on its 2015 level (CHF 209.5 million). This bears testament to long-term strategies put in place to maintain levels of funding distributed for the public good.
With 282 staff on its books as of 1st January 2017, Loterie Romande paid out in 2016 CHF 74.5 million in commission fees to the 2,600 retailers distributing its games throughout French-speaking Switzerland. Through these payments, Loterie Romande makes a significant contribution to local neighbourhood businesses (kiosks, cafés/bars, restaurants) located in city centres, on the outskirts of towns or in villages in the countryside.
Distribution of profits
Around 3,000 public-service bodies and institutions received funding from Loterie Romande in 2016. On average, over CHF 500,000.– were distributed daily to social, cultural and sports projects throughout French-speaking Switzerland.
After taking account of the CHF 3.7 million allocated to the Association pour le développement de l’élevage et des courses (ADEC; Association for the Promotion of Horse Breeding & Racing), net profits for 2016 were distributed according to the following split: 5/6ths, i.e. CHF 177.5 million, went to the cantonal distributing bodies to fund projects in the social-welfare, cultural, educational or environmental fields, with the remaining 1/6th or CHF 35.5 million going to sport.
As in past years, Loterie Romande paid the 0.5% duty levied on its GGR, i.e. a sum of CHF 1.99 million, which is allocated for preventing and combating gambling addiction.
New Swiss gambling law
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. Loterie Romande considers the draft legislation to be both consistent and well balanced, taking the interests of all parties involved into account. It ensures proper protection for the population against those dangers associated with gambling, setting out a series of tangible measures to clamp down on illegal gambling and games, such as the blocking of unauthorised Internet sites. Considering the balanced positions achieved, especially with regard to social responsibility, Loterie Romande is adamant this bill should not be watered down by any amendments that might blunt the competitive edge of public- interest lottery and sports betting companies. Provisions set forth in this law must be such as to ensure that profits generated from gambling, pursuant to Article 106 of the Swiss Federal Constitution, are indeed allocated to public-interest projects and not diverted exclusively to private gambling operators.
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 CHF 600 million each year, distributed by Loterie Romande and Swisslos.
Increased backing for Swiss Olympic
Loterie Romande and Swisslos, the intercantonal lottery operator for German-speaking Switzerland and the Canton of Ticino, have decided to boost their annual contribution to Swiss Olympic by an extra CHF 17 million to support, in particular, both current and up- and-coming elite athletes. Of the 17 million, CHF 4 million will come from Loterie Romande and CHF 13 million from Swisslos – these contributions will lift the total sum distributed to Swiss Olympic by the two lottery companies to CHF 46 million from 2017. Loterie Romande and Swisslos have added their weight to Swiss Olympic’s drive aimed at enabling Swiss sport to remain competitive in international sporting arenas. The extra money being disbursed to Swiss Olympic will be allocated to the athletes themselves, their support teams and facilities. These contributions bear sound testament to the major role Swiss lottery companies play in supporting sport.
As a reminder, funds allocated by Loterie Romande to sport, some CHF 35.5 million, are split two-ways: first to the cantonal sports bodies (CHF 24.8 million) to help fund amateur and grassroots sport (facilities, next generation of active sports participants, local sports events, etc.); second to the Sport-Toto company which redeploys its share (CHF 10.6 million) to support Swiss Olympic, the Swiss Football Association, and the Swiss national football and ice hockey leagues.
Mr Jean-Pierre Beuret,
Telephone: 079 332 01 00
Mr Jean-Luc Moner-Banet,
Telephone: 079 310 78 69