The Legal Advisor to the European Lotteries (EL), Mr. Phillipe Vlaemminck, is urging governments worldwide that tax lottery winners to reconsider this practice, as it becomes counterproductive and prevents patrons from finding the game attractive.

Mr Vlaemminck, who is in Ghana with his colleague, Ms. Beata Guzik, EL Public Affairs Director, was speaking at a training session held by the National Lottery Authority for its management, Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs), Private Lottery Operators (PLOs) and Third-party collaborators.

The trainers, with their wealth of knowledge and expertise in lottery operations and regulation, covered an extensive array of topics, ensuring a deep and comprehensive understanding of the gaming industry, from the Role of Lotteries to Responsible Gaming, the Fight Against Illegal Lotteries, Global Lottery Trends, the Legal Framework in the European Union, Anti-Money Laundering, AI and New Technologies, The World Lottery Market, and the Types of Multi-Jurisdictional Games.

Participants were trained on the importance of enforcing responsible gaming practices in their operations, ensuring that they do not prioritize profits over the welfare of patrons or customers. They were also educated on how to institute measures to inform their players about the odds of winning, enabling them to make informed decisions and avoid impractical expectations and unwarranted lottery or gambling-related problems.

Addressing the subject of taxes on lottery wins, Mr. Phillippe Vlaemminck noted that this is a disincentive for players and should not be exploited by governments as an avenue for revenue generation.

“When people play the lottery, they want to see all their money, and so taxing their wins deters the player from participating again, which causes lottery institutions and operators who are already contributing significantly to good causes to lose revenue, and so I believe the Ghanaian government and governments in other parts of the world who practice this should completely abolish taxes on lottery. Let’s allow the players to enjoy their wins”.

Mr. Phillipe Vlamminck also strongly highlighted the government’s role in fighting illegal lottery operations, which should complement the efforts of lottery institutions and operators.

The Director-General, Mr Samuel Awuku, says the training will help the NLA strengthen its operations and enlighten its stakeholders, who can, in turn, impact the knowledge in their teams.

“This training is key for the operations of NLA in our commitment to adhere to and promote Responsible Gaming practices per the standards of the World Lottery Association. (WLA) and we want to carry our retailers and stakeholders along so we can practice ethically and create a safe lottery space for our patrons”.

It is also an avenue to deepen our relationship with the WLA and EL”.

The training session also follows engagements held on the sidelines of an EL Public Order Seminar on Enforcing Gambling Regulation: Significance and Challenges, held in Brussels in February by the European Lotteries Association, where Mr Samuel Awuku was invited to speak on illegal gambling in Ghana.

While listing measures instituted by NLA and the Gaming Commission to curb illegal lottery operations and gambling in Ghana at the Public Order Seminar, Mr Awuku called for collaboration with the European Lotteries to fight illegals and hold training sessions for the Authority and its stakeholders. He also requested an Observer status with the European Lotteries to enable the NLA to participate in seminars and training programs organized by the EL to enhance the NLA’s operations.

The NLA has achieved WLA Level 2 Certification in Responsible Gaming and has applied to attain Level 3.Participants of the EL Training who received certificates in Responsible Gaming found the training sessions enlightening and impactful.

They called on the NLA to organize more training to keep them abreast of best practices and improve their business.

The trainers, Mr. Phillipe Vlaemminck, has more than 40 years of experience in lotteries, betting & gambling; he represents and advises several (European Member) States and governments around the world, their gaming regulators, lottery associations, lottery cooperative structures EuroMillions, as well as some aspects related to Euro Jackpot & Viking Lotto) and lottery operators, while Ms. Beata Guzik has over 20 years of experience and is involved in many business areas as a lawyer and public affairs expert. She follows up on EU regulatory developments and EU court cases.