Prior to the formation of World Lottery Association (WLA), there were two international lottery associations; the International Association of State Lotteries (AILE) and International Association of Toto and Lotto Organizations (Intertoto). Each had a slightly different focus with AILE tending to focus on French speaking lotteries and those who at the time mostly sold instant lotteries. Intertoto was a body which emerged from the lotteries of Europe which offered soccer [football] pools before they began to introduce games of Lotto. Most lottery organizations in Asia Pacific were members of both.
Mr. Guy Simonis, CEO of British Columbia Lottery and Chairman of Intertoto was the master mind for the merger of AILE and Intertoto in 1999.
The concept of WLA was based on the vision that there should be one single professional association for all the state authorized lotteries in the world. The planning for such an organization took into account that there were at that time four regional associations; AALE (Africa), CIBELAE (Latin America), EL (Europe), and NASPL (North America). There was NO regional association for the Asia Pacific region. Guy thought this omission should be rectified and that the lotteries of the Asia Pacific Region should be encouraged to develop its own Regional Association so that there will be a regional body representing the specific interests of every major region in the world.
The constitution of WLA was developed to provide that each of the regional association nominates a representative to sit on the WLA Executive Committee with the other eight members of the WLA Executive Committee elected by all the members.
During the planning for the merger of AILE and Intertoto, Mr. Guy Simonis approached Mr. Henry Chan who was at the time, Director of Betting of the Hong Kong Jockey Club to lead the setting up of an Asian and Australasian regional association.
The Group consisting of the Australian and New Lotteries, Singapore Pools and the Hong Kong Jockey Club was convened by Mr. Henry Chan with support from one of his senior staff, Mr. Philip Chan. Several meetings of the group were held at various conferences leading up to the WLA conference in Glasgow in 2000 at which APLA was formally established.
Work was done on developing the constitution of the proposed organization with a number of people on the working group contributing to the ultimate structure. The group comprised of Mr. Makoto Kobayashi who was the President of the Japan Lottery Association. Ms. June Roache, CEO of South Australian Lotteries, Ms. Jan Stewart, CEO of Lotterywest in Western Australia and Mr. David Bale, CEO of the New Zealand Lottery.
The members of AILE and Intertoto officially agreed to establish the World Lottery Association in Oslo in 1999.
When was APLA formed ?
The official formation of the Asia Pacific Regional Association took place at the WLA Conference in Glasglow, Scotland in 2000 and Ms. Jan Stewart, CEO of Lotterywest was elected as the inaugural chairman.
The Founding APLA EXCO Members were :
Chairman : Jan Stewart, Lotterywest, Western Australia
Vice-Chairman : Henry Chan, Hong Kong Jockey Club
Exco Members :
Mr. Makoto Koboyashi from Japan Lottery Association
Mrs Ariane Burgess, CEO of New Zealand Lotteries
Mr. Han Tsi Fung, Singapore Pools
Secretariat/Treasurer – Ms. Lorraine Driscoll, Lotterywest
Assisted by Mr. Philip Chan, Hong Kong for Liaison outside Australia
It is important to note that Mr.Henry Chan was instrumental in the drafting of the APLA Bye-Laws and the design of the APLA logo.
Ms. Jan Stewart was responsible for the setting up of the Secretariat and registering the Association and opening of the Bank Account for APLA.
18 members joined in Year 2001.
- NSW Lotteries
- SA Lotteries
- WA Lotteries
- Golden Casket Lottery Corporation
- Tattersall’s Sweeps Pty Ltd.
- New Zealand Lotteries Commission
- Japan Lottery Association
- Japan Lottery Systems
- Mizuho Bank, Lottery Department, Japan
- Kookmin Bank, Lottery Department, Korea
- Sports Toto, Korea
- China Sports Lottery
- China Welfare Lottery
- Hong Kong Lottery Board
- Singapore Pools
- Magnum Corporation, Malaysia
- Sports Toto, Malaysia
- Government Lottery Office, Thailand
How much was Membership Fee ?
Membership Fee was set at USD1,000 and only full members of WLA are eligible for APLA membership. A few years later, the Associate Membership was created to accommodate the Lottery Vendors and other related Lottery organizations.
Special highlights to mention during the initial start up
In the early years of APLA, the AGM was conducted during the WLA Conference at which most members would attend. The inaugural newsletter was developed in 2001 and the APLA website was on-line in 2002 to keep members informed of the development in the region. APLA started to organize its activities for members in 2002, which included a sports seminar in Seoul, a seminar on retailer management in Perth and a study tour to China.
Since then, APLA organizes at least two events for members in the region every year : seminars (some jointly with WLA) and the annual conference (at which the AGM will be held). The APLA events are very popular among its members and other WLA members and receive strong support from vendors in sponsorship.
Why do members want to join APLA ?
We believe that there are local issues which are important that a locally based membership group can better address. It also gives the fastest growing region in the world an opportunity to have their voice expressed through the APLA representative members of WLA. We believe that small regional seminars give members in the region a chance to get to know each other and particularly for the more ‘mature’ lotteries such as the HKJC and the Australian and New Zealand lotteries to offer support and guidance to their colleagues from the new and developing lotteries in the region. A very strong personal and professional network between the members of APLA have grown over the years to the benefit of all members.
How was APLA funded in the early days?
The early members gave a lot of personal time voluntarily to do the work that needed to be done to establish APLA and to plan the first regional conferences and seminars and this had remained the practice with APLA spending very little of members fees on administration. Members also readily paid their membership fees which were used to pay for the services which could not be covered by the voluntary contribution of the committee members and their staff.
The vendors also were highly supportive in offering financial support towards the costs of running the various conferences and seminars and continue to offer that support.