Corporate Social Responsibility Combines with RG and Diversity and Gender-Equality in the workplace for a broader impact on Society

PUBLIC GAMING INTERVIEWS Rebecca Hargrove President & Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation Senior Vice President, World Lottery Association (WLA) Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, WLA Chair of Women’s Initiative in Lottery Leadership (WILL)


Paul Jason: As Chair of the WLA Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, CSR, how would you describe the mission of this committee?

Rebecca Hargrove: The membership of the WLA has always been a leader in CSR, especially when it comes to Responsible Gaming. My goal is to help build upon the success and the strength of the WLA Corporate Social Responsibility platform.

As WLA members, our goal is to produce great products that deliver great entertainment value to our players, grow revenues, and increase funds transferred to good causes. Additionally, mission-critical to the long-term sustainability of our business, and integral to our commitment to serve the best interests of society, is to set the highest standards of Responsible Gaming.

That is why, I believe, the WLA created the Responsible Gaming Principles and a Responsible Gaming Framework and the certification process to help its members optimize their performance in RG. The RG certification process is unique in the entire games-of-chance industry. Doing the right thing for players and the broader community has made Corporate Social Responsibility, and specifically the Responsible Gaming Principles and Framework, a top priority for the WLA membership. I am convinced that we are at a most opportune juncture, a time when a spotlight is being shone on the commitment of corporate entities to serve not only their own shareholders but to serve society as well.

The meaning of “stakeholder” is being redefined to include everyone, not just those who are directly impacted by and vested in the success of the enterprise. Changing also is the vision for how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be the catalyst to drive positive change across a wide spectrum of activities, initiatives and societal concerns. CSR encompasses a broad range of initiatives to reinforce the vital position lotteries hold in our communities.

One of my goals as chair of the CSR Committee is to help create a more integrated and holistic approach toward this broader view of CSR. Since games-of-chance is the cornerstone to our business, Responsible Gaming will always occupy center-stage. But additionally, how can we contribute to the preservation of the environment and instilling a green workplace, to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, to community outreach, to fostering a vision for how CSR might engage a broad-base of commitment across all industry sectors?

From partnering with schools and participating in food bank drives to setting business goals for minority business participation, lotteries can provide many benefits to the community in addition to the beneficiary programs they were created to fund. Another part of this picture is leveraging our dedication to CSR into increased brand value.

What can we do to engender more recognition from the general media for the standards of excellence set by government lotteries?

How can we leverage our dedication to CSR and Good Causes to attract the socially conscious best and brightest young professionals to make a career of government sanctioned lotteries? There are lots of compelling reasons to put CSR at the forefront of our brand messaging!

You are also founder and chair of Women’s Initiative in Lottery Leadership (WILL). That would seem to relate directly to the vision of a more impactful and broader view of CSR.

R. Hargrove: Of course. Our WILL ambition is to create a path for talented and passionate women professionals around the globe to realize their full potential. We are focusing on Mentorship as being key to accomplishing that goal.