After a year in 2020 in decline due to the Coronavirus crisis, Belgians have found a taste for gambling. The National Lottery has just published its figures and it appears that the turnover exceeds for the first time the billion and a half euros and that the number of winners has never been so high since there have been more than 100 million, the main one of which remains the Belgian state. Details of the 2021 balance sheet.
The Belgians have bet for more than a billion and a half euros
We can forget 2020 and its sad record, while it had recorded a drop in stakes with 1.405 billion euros, the National Lottery returned to growth in 2021. The Belgians played for 1,530,000,000 euros, this which gives an average of 4.5% increase over the last five years. The game has therefore not suffered too much from the Covid, it may even have provided a feeling of escape in this period when travel and entertainment are disrupted.
” Many Belgians play our games for a small amount, on average 5.1 euros “, emphasizes Jannie Haek, Managing Director and Chairman of the National Lottery Management Committee. “It gives them pleasure, it gives them a chance to win, but it also allows them to help countless initiatives in the social, cultural and scientific sector”.
If the Belgians have bet more than a billion and a half in 2021, they also benefited from a record earnings since there were 103,740,310 winners who shared 896 million euros. Over 100 million winning entries is a historic record for the National Lottery. But the dream has its limits, if there are millionaires, the average gain is nevertheless 8.6 euros.
What are the favorite games of the Belgians? The podium is quite tight
On the podium of the most popular games, the top step remains occupied by EuroMillions with sales reaching 537 million. A game that had yet had a complicated 2020 with the withdrawal of the Spanish lottery for several months.
Just behind in terms of stakes is the good old Lotto. Finally, not so old as that since it was renewed in 2018 and has regained new momentum since then. While it plummeted to fall below 400 million euros in 2017 (398 m), it exceeded 474 million last year, an exceptional level not reached since 2012. In terms of participations, the Lotto and EuroMillions are almost level playing field, which shows the strong attachment of the Belgians to this emblematic game that is the traditional Lotto.
Third pillar of the Lottery, instant scratch games. They continue to grow and have achieved a turnover of 443 million. But these are the games that generate the greatest number of winners (37 million for 35 in Lotto and 16 in EuroMillions).
A relatively tight podium which reassures the managing director of the Lottery: ” Today, the games offered by the National Lottery are based on three pillars: Lotto, Euromillions and instant games. This is part of our diversification strategy which allows us both to have sustainable growth and to cushion any possible shock that would strike one of our pillars “.
Where does the money bet by the players go? First to the community
In addition to the 103 million private winners who share 896 million euros, the main beneficiary of the National Lottery remains the Belgian company with a contribution of 335 million euros, an increase of 15 million compared to 2020. In the first rank, we find the Belgian State which received 135 million euros. A monopoly rent that the federal government has decided to increase to 145 million from 2022.
But the support for the community which is the most important and the most visible, it is the 200 million subsidies paid to the social, cultural or sporting world. In 2021, the Lottery also responded to urgent needs linked in particular to the Coronavirus crisis, for example by freeing up two million additional euros to fight against poverty and one million to revive the cultural sector. The Lottery also very quickly released one million euros as part of emergency aid following the floods that hit our country last July.
” In the end, it is the community and the community that come out the winners of the good results of the Lottery through the income of 135 million that we pay to the State and through the 200 million in subsidies that we grant to many organizations. charities across the country. The National Lottery is much more than playing! “, concluded Jannie Haek.
Where do the Belgians play?
First evidence, the Belgian appreciates traveling to play a game of the National Lottery. Online sales are progressing, as we will see, but the game is first played face-to-face. To do this, the National Lottery had 7,763 points of sale at the end of 2021. Ten years ago, there were only 5,530. Bookstores remain the privileged partners of the National Lottery and generate 48% of its total turnover.
As has been said, digital sales continue to progress. They generated 24% of turnover last year. And 60% of this digital turnover comes from mobile (smartphones and tablets). The Lottery is probably one of the biggest players in Belgian e-commerce with 1,422,435 players with a single account (with identification via the identity card).
Note that all these figures do not take into account those of the “Scooore” subsidiary, the sports betting offer launched by the National Lottery in 2012. As the legislator wishes, the Lottery does not mix traditional lottery games on the one hand and sports betting on the other. Moreover, the two depend on different laws. Clearly, everyone at home and the stakes will be well guarded!