Published: January 14, 2022

In 2020, EL Members contributed 16 billion euros to the benefit of society

EL Press release 

In 2020, EL Members contributed 16 billion euros to the benefit of society 

New EL Report on the Lottery sector in Europe 2020 published

 Brussels, 14 January 2022 – The year 2020 was like no other. In a matter of weeks, as the world faced the biggest health, economic and social crisis in modern history, national lotteries saw partial and even full closures of their retail networks and had to take priority actions to protect their players, retailers, other partners and their own employees.

 Yet despite the pandemic, national lotteries upheld their historic support to society in times of need. In addition to financial contributions, national lotteries increased efforts also in non-financial ways, for example the provision of medical supplies to hospitals, food deliveries to the most vulnerable, health awareness campaigns and the support of employees and retail network partners. EL Members continued to fulfil their core values of responsibility, sustainability, and integrity by supporting local communities in all ways possible.

 ‘‘There is no doubt that COVID-19 had an impact on the lottery sector with differentiating effects of the lockdowns on the game verticals in the various jurisdictions.’’ says Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General. ‘’Yet national lotteries found innovative solutions to continue regulated services to their players. The online channel was further developed as a safe alternative, and campaign strategies were adapted to consider the ‘new normal’ and provide increased support to impacted communities across Europe’’. 

2020 saw new and innovative ways to support communities and the money contributed to society by 47 EL Members in the EU (that reported their contributions) amounted to €14.2bn. The funds were channeled towards sports, funds for other good causes and taxes for treasury. The contribution to society by all EL Members reporting the category (65 in total) amounted to €16.0bn, which means that 52% of the GGR generated by EL Members (not including sponsorships) went back to society in the respective countries. The largest EU member states, where the amounts provided by EL Members to society exceeded €2.0bn were France with €3.2bn, Germany with €3.1bn and Spain with €2.5bn. The average amount that EL Members in the EU paid back to society was €32 per capita in 2020 (across the 27 EU member states that reported).

 After multiple years of continuous growth, the impact of COVID-19 did result in the total GGR decrease of 14.8% compared with 2019 (based on 67 reporting EL Members). Yet, reporting on the specific gaming activities, the online sector did see strong growth with all EL Members (51 reported the category) generating online GGR of €3.6bn, representing 11.7 percent of total GGR in 2020 and a 25.7 percent year-over-year increase. The shift to online was also accompanied by speeded up technical and product innovations and the opening of new product verticals by EL Members.

 Another important contribution of EL Members was to employment in their respective countries. In 2020, the 46 EL Members operating in the EU directly employed 42,206 full-time employees, while all 65 reporting EL Members were employing 47,727 full-time employees.

 Responsible gaming activities are also an integral part of the EL Members’ business. In 2020, EL Members continued to emphasise measures to prevent problem gambling, as during the 2020 General Assembly, they approved mandatory Responsible Gaming Certification mandatory for all Members. 

‘’The latest data collected by EL takes in account the non-standard and unprecedented circumstances of 2020, the first time that the lottery sector has been hit by a global pandemic.’’ says Václav Štěpán, Executive Chair of the EL Data & Research Working Group. He adds, “The collaboration and knowledge sharing among EL Members, intensified during the COVID-19 impact period, is the big strength of The European Lotteries Association membership.”



  1. EL Report on the Lottery Sector in Europe 2020
  2. The EL Data & Research WG (D&R WG) is responsible for collecting and sharing data among the EL community, covering land-based and online sales and GGR, money for good causes, employment and other selected KPIs. The data is collected online and aggregated by an independent third party, based on which D&R WG publishes the yearly report already for 15 consecutive years.
  3. EL Members’ total GGR decreased 11.0 percent in 2020 to €27.2bn, after several years of growth, as the lottery sector dealt with the fallout of COVID-19 restrictions.
  4. Sales for the three main categories of games — draw based, instant and sports — by EL members in the EU amounted to €69.4bn in 2020, a 10.6 percent decrease compared with 2019, according to the group’s recently released 2020 report.
  5. Total sales, including the EL’s non-EU members, amounted to €85.6bn, a year-on-year decrease of 9.1 percent.
  6. EL Members generated €16.0bn for good causes in 2020, around a €1bn decrease compared with 2019.


Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson, Communications Officer, EL, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 About the European Lotteries (EL)

EL is the European umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for the public benefit. EL has members from more than 40 European countries including all EU Member States. The EU members contribute more than 20 billion EUR p.a. to the state budgets and the funding of sport, culture, social projects, research and causes of general interest. Unlike many commercial online gambling operators, EL members only offer gambling and betting services in the jurisictions in which they are licensed by the respective national government. Website:, Twitter @EuropeLotteriesLinkedIn  


Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson

Communications Officer 



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