SIMONIDA KAŽIĆ, Acting CEO, State lottery of Serbia: Ahead of its Time

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“With the new prizes and games we are going to continue bringing luck both to our players and the state budget beneficiaries this year”, says Simonida Kažić, Acting CEO of State lottery of Serbia, a company that has been recording excellent business results while contributing to the society year-on-year.

What results did the State lottery achive in the past business year and how are they going to reflect on your future plans?

— We are extremely proud of the results we achieved in 2018 and mostly of the fact that we generated much bigger funds for the state budget which are intended for financing humanitarian, health and social institutions and organizations. The total amount we generated through collection of game of chance provision fees and profit tax exceeded 2 billion dinars, which is a 10 percent increase from last year and a 30 percent increase relative to 2016. This outcome is a result of an increase in total turnover in 2018, which reached almost 55 million euro. Positive business results also led to an increase in the number of our luckiest players, since 85 of them became millionairs in 2018, while thousands of winners enjoyed other material and financial prizes. Our strategy has brought success and good results and we are confident that our plans for 2019 will bring even more luck to our players.

Does this suggest that you have exceeded your plans and expectations?

— We were absolutely sure of our capabilities and did everything in our power to implement our plan. We also believed that we could exceed our plan, which we proved to be true. We have done a lot on building our positive image and improving open communication with our players and the media. Furthermore, we have made significant steps towards restructuring and expanding our network with the goal of optimizing resources, increasing the availability of the classic lottery games and boosting our sales. Throughout the year we are working on expanding our sales network together with the largest retail chains. LOTO and BINGO are the most popular classic lottery games, but as a result of constant innovations in our portfolio, significant contribution to overal positive result comes from the scratch cards, which are widely available in our sales network. Also, our new terminals significantly accelerate the transation process. Additionally, we are expanding the network of facilities where players can validate their online game registration. We continue the growth trend and highlighting the importance of State lottery in it’s nobel mission that is justified together with all the participating players.

What remained the same and what changed relative to last year?

— With a great understanding of market trends and a well-coordinated team, we firmly occupy the leading position of the biggest classic lottery games provider in the Western Balkans. We will endeavour to remain in this position in the future too. Apart from constantly expanding our sales network, most of our business in 2019 is going to be focused on further development of the infrastructure for online games available at our website www.lutrija.rs. An increase in the number of registered players proves that we are keeping up with e-commerce trends. We are not just the company that operates lottery games, we do it responsibly, we take care of society, we educate and protect our players. Membership in The European Lotteries and World Lottery Association is the guarantee for transparent operations, by respecting the organizational principles and standards of responsible gaming operations. The ISO/IEC 27001 international standard presents the norm of best practice in comprehensive set of information system security measures, and it gives aditional guarantee for complete data safety.

How much is State lottery of Serbia keeping up with new trends?

— I would argue that we are a step ahead. We have introduced innovative business segments that fully meet market needs and we are constantly improving them. The thing that clearly sets us apart from other similar companies is that we have developed a comprehensive online lottery software AVALON, a product that we have successfully exported to Macedonia and the Republic of Srpska. We hope that last year’s presentation in the international market
will result in the establishment of long-term cooperation with the new markets.

Lastly, what novelties can we expect from game of chance providers?

— Our goal is for our players to have fun and to provide them with a chance of winning something. This year, we are preparing a lot of surprises for them – additional special rounds of classic games of chance with many new prizes and perhaps new games. It is a real privilege to be in contact with people that winn, and oftenly the value of the prize does not define their happiness, rather it is the impression that things are possible. With new prizes and games we continue to distribute happiness, to our players and to the fund users.

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