Public Gaming International Magazine May/June 2022

8 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2022 From the Publisher We sure do have a lot to feel good about these days! For one thing, we are very excited to see our European colleagues for the first time in 2-1/2 years. The EL (European Lotteries Association) Industry Days is a very special invitationonly conference event, held every other year in June but having skipped the last one in 2020. A lot has happened since then. What’s more important is that we are bracing for even more to happen over the next two and three years. Thank you to Hansjörg Höltkemeier and Dr. Heinz-Georg Sundermann for our feature interviews which move the dialogue forward, getting us started on the path of reinvention for a new golden era of Lottery, and welcoming us to Wiesbaden for Industry Days. Brand Experience Gap, a business meme du jour a couple years ago, refers to the gap between the brand strategy or message and the actual customer experience. The focus then was on closing that gap. Now that legacy customer perceptions and expectations have been so profoundly disrupted, I’m thinking this is a good time to focus on redefining the brand, on revisiting the premises and principles that have informed our brand strategies to date; taking advantage of this period of extreme disruption (or in Jack Welch parlance “not let a good crisis go to waste”) to reimagine and revamp the brand. The consumer market-place is being radically reshaped as we speak, so we may as well embrace the uncertainty of the times to reshape our brand. Which brings me to another thing we have to feel good about. To my mind, the Spanish El Gordo Christmas Lottery is perhaps the most inspiring brand story in our industry. It really is more than a “brand”, it is a social phenomenon, with a life of its own that is owned as much by the people of Spain as it is by anyone. As many have said, it is hard to watch the TV commercials without tearing up. No “Brand Experience Gap” with El Gordo. I have wanted to do a feature on the Spanish Christmas Lottery for years and so appreciate María Núñez for bringing it alive for the global audience, first as a presentation for the WLA/EL Marketing (virtual) Seminar, and now as a special article in this issue. Another special brand, I would think the most valuable brand in the gamesof-chance industry, is Powerball®. Congratulations to the MUSL organization and the lottery directors who have built this mega-brand over thirty year journey. It is a pleasure to share your history in 30 wonderful photos that capture some of the highlights of Powerball’s life story. Bridging the gap between Africa and Europe, Morocco and la Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports (MDJS Lottery) have always been keen on adopting the most forward-leaning best-practices. As CEO of MDJS, Younes El Mechrafi has set about the goal of forging the most collaborative, productive relationship with his business technology partners. That begins with designing an RFP that drives alignment of purpose and actions, and incorporates the flexibility to innovate and integrate new technologies going forward. Hopefully you were able to view the video of my interview with Evgeniy Vlasenko who heads the MSL Ukraine Lottery (posted to and our video website The miracle of strength, faith, and fortitude of the people of Ukraine inspires awe and admiration in everyone around the world. It is such a privilege to share this special report from Evgeniy as he and his country men and women fight for their freedom. Our hearts are with them and we stand in solidarity with their mission to defeat the forces of tyranny. Philippe Vlaemminck and Beata Guzik provide the much-needed update on the changing regulatory climate in Europe. Again, there is much to be hopeful about as the authority to determine gambling and lottery regulatory frameworks is shifting back to EU member states. Misguided attempts to impose panEuropean regulatory guidelines continue to cause confusion and impede the enforceability of laws and regulations to prevent illegal gaming. But there is hope that we are moving in the right direction towards a more rational system of laws and enforcement mechanisms. Integrating digital technology across all channels, media, and land-based systems and retailers is the top-of-mind mission today for lotteries and is the topic of our discussion with Alistair Boston-Smith. And a special thanks to editorial contributors Scientific Games and IGT. I appreciate our partnership, the leadership you provide this industry, and the brain-trust you share with our readership. We usually have our next conference to announce by now. We have been exploring different options and dates for Lottery Expo and will have probably announced everything by the time you read this. Please keep updated at our news website Of course, we hope you have already marked your calendars for the World Lottery Summit Vancouver, October 16-20. The bi-annual WLS is always an amazing experience. But the last one was four years ago (in Buenos Aires) and so this will be quite the wonderful reunion! We hope to see you all there! Paul Jason, Publisher Public Gaming International Magazine