Pictured: Estonian speed-skater Saskia Alusalu who came 4th in PyeongChang Olympic Games, presenting Spordiloto on which she is one of the cover stars. Photo by: Raigo Pajula / NOC
Riina Roosipuu, the head of Eesti Loto, said that the organisation was looking for ways to raise awareness about supporting society through lotteries. “It was the idea of Spordiloto that came to life in collaboration with the Estonian Olympic Committee as a pilot project approved by the Ministry of Finance and the government. What makes this lottery special is that, in addition to the gambling tax, 50 cents from the proceeds from each ticket will go directly to the youth sports financing programme run by the NOC. We believe that there are many people in Estonia for whom supporting society will become an important value-related factor in addition to trying their luck,” Roosipuu elaborated.
The president of the Estonian Olympic Committee, Urmas Sõõrumaa, was glad to see Spordiloto appear on sale. “Sport-related lotteries have always been popular among Estonians, which makes this a day especially filled with joy because the new product, Spordiloto, was long in coming: last time one could buy a ticket of sport-related lottery in Estonia was 18 years ago. During this period, an entire new generation of young athletes was born and brought up. Sports and gambling go hand in hand, and Spordiloto will bring people who love both closer. If this is also how athletes can be supported, the happier everyone will be. In this game, nobody loses; everybody wins! I hope and believe that all the people of Estonia will be willing to boost youth sports through Spordiloto lottery,” Sõõrumaa said.
Eesti Loto aims to sell 300,000 tickets, which would provide youth sports in Estonia with additional financing in the amount of nearly 150,000 euros. The aid will be allocated to the Estonian Olympic Committee’s system of youth elite sports support, which aims to support the development of young athletes in Estonia, increase their competitive ability and facilitate their transition to the adult category. The system of youth elite sports support includes nearly a hundred promising young athletes aged 22 and under, who currently receive 3,000 euros per year. Currently the Estonian Olympic Committee is financing the system of youth elite sports support with the funds distributed by the IOC Olympic Solidarity programme and the funds received from the gambling tax.
The faces of the Spordiloto campaign are the javelin thrower Magnus Kirt, speed skater Saskia Alusalu and volleyball player Robert Täht.
Speed skater Saskia Alusalu said that her personal lottery experience was modest, but she would be excited to try playing Spordiloto now. “I am very glad to see my face on this lottery ticket, knowing this is my small contribution to supporting Estonian youth sports. I remember very well how much inspiration even one word can bring. I hope this will inspire young people to do more sports and why not choose it as their profession. It may be very difficult at times, but there’s nothing better than doing what you love,” Alusalu added.
The total prize fund of the instant lottery, which costs 5 euros per ticket, is 750,000, and there are three jackpot tickets with 10,000 euro wins each. Spordiloto will be sold in all Eesti Loto’s points of sale in Estonia until 30 April 2020.
AS Eesti Loto is a 100% state-owned company, which aims to provide safe and sound entertainment in conformity with responsible gambling principles. Eesti Loto pays 18% of gambling tax on each lottery ticket, which is used for the financing of science, education, culture, sports and medicine. In 2018, Eesti Loto paid a total of nearly 10 million euros in gambling tax while the winnings it paid to lottery players amounted to nearly 21.4 million euros, of which 5 million euro were instant lottery winnings.