European lotteries establish alliance to pool liquidity

Lotteries of Denmark, Finland, France and Norway set to launch integrated platform by end of year


Members of the new Lotteries Entertainment Innovation Alliance (LEIA), a joint venture between the national lotteries of Denmark, Finland, France and Norway, are open to welcoming other operators seeking shared liquidity opportunities, according to chief execuive Morten Eriksen.

The venture has been established by Danske Lotteri Spil, La Française des Jeux, Norsk Tipping and Veikkaus, with each holding an equal stake. Through the project, the quartet aims to enhance their online product range and explore initiatives that can drive revenue growth and pool liquidity, with Eriksen, who joined Norsk Tipping as director of distribution in 2014, appointed to oversee the new entity.

Eriksen told today (November 27) that spreading risk in an increasingly competitive marketplace was a primary reason for the timing of the launch.

Despite having only just been publicised, the deal to establish the joint venture was signed on October 1.

“This has been under discussion for a while, but the growth of digital has provided a lot of challenges for state lotteries,” Eriksen explained.

“I think there is a future for alliances like this and we are open to bringing in more companies," he continued. "Joining forces makes us more competitive from an innovation perspective – and it also shares cost and reduces risk."

Shared liquidity was also a key consideration, he added, noting that this would help the four lotteries target larger customer bases. However, he admitted that it would take some time before the first products developed through the venture went live.

“Right now, we are working to integrate the companies across common platform and then introduce the different libraries so the games can be shared,” Eriksen said.

It is hoped that the integration platform will be in place by the end of this year, while the joint venture will largely rely on the support services of the members at the outset whilst retaining a “lean” staff structure.

Aside from Erikson, a chief technology officer and a head of commercial operations have also been hired from Norsk Tipping and Veikkaus respectively, although their appointments are yet to be publicised. The company’s headquarters will be in Hamar, Norway.

The LEIA’s chairman, Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski, added: “Consumer behaviour in the lottery industry is changing rapidly, which requires faster development and adaption from both the operators and suppliers.”

The move towards shared liquidity by lottery operators in northern Europe comes after Portugal joined France and Spain in a shared poker liquidity network in May.