Published: July 7, 2024

Scenes from the Lotteries in Europe Colloquium in Brussels


Lotteries in Europe -Colloquium April 18-19 Hosted by: The Belgian National Lottery and EL

A common cultural heritage; A particular form of economic activity

Lotteries in Europe are rooted in longstanding traditions. These date back to 1441 when an ingenious plan was conceived in Bruges, Belgium to organise a game with various prizes in order to collect voluntary contributions and use the proceeds to pay for society’s collective needs. This model has endured and provided significant funding for culture across Europe for more than five centuries. Yet, with the digital revolution introducing countless other gaming options, it is now being put to a test.

Despite the existence of a single market, each Member State has its own lottery, typically with a long history closely linked to local social and community life. The presence of these 50 lotteries within the EU is a common feature that characterizes the EU and deserves active protection.

This colloquium will offer a unique platform to engage with the leading voices in the field. You will gain a valuable perspective on what sets lotteries apart and why it is our shared commitment to safeguard them and ensure their resilience and sustainability for the benefit of society as a whole, and culture in particular

 Keynote Address by Koen Lenaerts, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Mr Lenaerts will reflect on the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union which has acknowledged that cultural, religious and moral differences among Member States cannot be disregarded in the organisation of lotteries.

Other addresses will include a historical perspective on lotteries as a European cultural heritage; testimonies of the beneficiaries of lottery funding for culture; and a legal perspective from a specialist from the prestigious College of Europe.

Let's underscore once again the indispensable role lotteries play in the European cultural heritage.

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