Romana Girandon: Being the president of The EL is a great honor and pride for me
During the General Assembly of EL, which took place on 7 June in Šibenik (Croatia), members elected a new Executive Committee for the period 2023-2025 and appointed Romana Girandon, CEO of Loterija Slovenije, the first female president of EL. About this great distinction, work on the Slovenian lottery market, EL’s challenges, as well as the Slovenian lottery more in our conversation with Romana Girandon. We invite you to read.
How do you perceive the awareness of Slovenians on topics related to gambling and safe gaming?
I think public awareness is getting higher. The Slovenian Centre for prevention of non-chemical addictions and their experts are doing a good job. They are helping not only people and their families dealing with unhealthy behaviors but are also working on general public awareness, especially the awareness of kids and their parents in primary schools.
Hopefully, in Slovenia we will also get stricter regulation that would prevent anyone abusing games of chance and gambling to make profit by pushing risky and addictive products.
What kind of work is Loterija Slovenije doing in this regard?
Responsible gaming is the core of our company’s culture, strategy, activities and development. We believe that any type of gambling should be operated in public interest, that means in a sound and sustainable way, for the peoples’ and public benefit. That’s why we stand for the low-risk games and services that are fun and safe at the same time, reducing social harm to the lowest. Our business model is engaging with many people who spend a small amount of money that they don’t miss.
We work to systematically prevent excessive gaming and protect minors in many ways. From assessing the risks through all stages of services development, behavioral analytics, measures to prevent risky behavior, training of colleges and sales staff to raising public awareness. We are also clearly communicating that even the most innocent game is still not a game for the young. However, when it comes to preventing excessive gaming, it’s not just what you do that matters – it’s just as important what you do not do.
Slovenia is a relatively small market, is this a barrier to business development?
Yes and no. Of course, you need a critical mass of players for the jackpots to be appealing at all. In Slovenia almost 70% of adult population has cooperated in our games in last year, so we enjoy significant public confidence. Still, this is just not enough players for a top tier game. At the same time, we are committed to provide the citizens of Slovenia the same quality of lottery games as any other large nation has.
To overcome these constraints, we are proud members of the European cooperation, such as Eurojackpot and Vikinglotto. International games give Slovenians the opportunity to play big lottery games with big jackpots. In addition to this, we have managed to continue developing ourlocal Loto game in a way that it is still the most popular game in the country.
I would like to congratulate you your nomination to the President of The European Lotteries. A great thing, and at the same time, I think, appreciation of many years of work in Slovenia, as well as the European association, because you previously served as the vice-president of this organization, right?
Yes, I think it is a great honor and achievement for a lottery that is as small as ours. This is certainly an expression of appreciation for the work performed by me and my colleagues in Slovenia, and also in Europe.
I am very proud to be the president of The European Lotteries, but I also understand that this is connected with even more work for the organization. I will try to work so that Slovenia and all other members are proud of the work performed for the European Lotteries.
Olgierd Cieślik was re-elected to the Executive Committee of European Lotteries. This will be the third term of the president of Totalizator Sportowy in this position. You had the opportunity to work together over the years, what do you think about this time?
Mr. Olgierd Cieślik is a valuable long year member of the EL Executive Committee. In the past he has chared the Sports Working Group and in the last two years he was helping to develop EL education and training programs. I have great respect for him and I appreciate him is taking the time and energy for helping the European lotteries organization and community be better.
What does it do being a member of the Association of European lotteries give you?
First of all, we get to co-shape the content and the strategy of our sector in Europe. For us benefit of society is not just a phrase and I’m happy we can contribute to the development of the European environment in this direction. It also gives us access to knowledge and training as well as exchange of ideas and experiences and access to international cooperation. It is very valuable for us.
How does Loterija Slovenije benefit society as a whole?
First, by implementing responsible gaming seriously. Also, by building fair working environment and an inclusive society, internally and externally, advocating for gender equality, equality for people with disabilities and the elderly, and ensuring digital and physical accessibility for everyone. Further, by systematically taking care of the environment. And finally, by gathering funds for public good, co-financing Slovenian disability, humanitarian and sports organizations.
What opportunities and challenges does Loterija Slovenije face in the near future?
We are faced by a complex set of challenges – from generational shifts to revolution of customer experience, from unfair competition to transformation of workplace, from legislative obstacles to the rise of different technologies. In a way it’s like we are in the eye of a tornado where the world is accelerating before our own eyes. Our greatest opportunity is our purpose. We exist for the benefit of society which gives us a very different legitimacy and access to our stakeholders than pure for-profit organizations.