Romanian Lottery: truth and challenge! “I wish we had an independent lottery system”

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Interview with PhD Marius Pantea – General Manager, Romanian Lottery

Being the leader of the National Company of Romanian Lottery for only a few months, Mr. Marius Pantea is planning daring projects that will turn this institution into a top state company, as in most of the countries of European Union. We invite you to read an interesting article, which will acquaint you with the present and future of the Romanian Lottery.

Do you actually see yourself as a lucky person? Has Marius Pantea won the lottery or has the Lottery won a good manager?

Yes, I am a lucky person, I have a little girl who is almost 2, a wonderful wife, and a mother who idolizes me, along with two extraordinary sisters, in other words, I have an enviable family, and life has offered me a second opportunity.

Related to the second part of your question, I have never won the lottery, and I hope from all my heart that the Romanian Lottery would have won for a long period of time a manager who is willing and capable of doing great things and who will actually do these things!

What has determined you to agree to lead one of the oldest institutions in Romania?

It is a challenge for me to try to bring the Romanian Lottery to the value and performance it had in the past. I wish that the Lottery would actively get involved in the city life, in order to render fellow citizens wealth, self-help during difficult times, to offer children an opportunity, to give our elders a helping hand, and to be what it needs to be, meaning an entertaining state company, especially created to operate a monopole on an ancient activity: gambling.

Certainly, during the three past months, since you have been the manager of the Romanian Lottery, you have learnt exactly how things go. Tell us how would an ordinary working day look for the General Manager of the Romanian Lottery?

My working day is not much different from that of a man responsible of over 2.500 colleagues. The objectives I have set are daring, the implementation deadlines are short, but the results need to be visible as soon as possible, therefore the rhythm is alert and it forces me to identify innovative, daring solutions every day, together with the management of the Company and with every single colleague. I am glad that this year we’ve managed to offer significantly higher wages to all Romanian Lottery workers. Figures say that the ordinary sales agent was at first paid with the minimum wage, which at the beginning of the year was of 1.200 lei and then it was increased to 1.700 lei, to which meal vouchers were added worth 300 lei/month, a holiday voucher of 1.450 lei/year and other benefits. My colleagues from TESA have also been granted important wage increments, 450 lei/month on average, considering that, in my opinion, their wages have not been increased for years.

What are the Company’s priorities, in your opinion?

The priorities of the Romanian Lottery, on a short and medium term, are:

–          independency from the point of view of the lottery system (it is set that, by the end of the year, we shall implement the new lottery system and therefore change the current 24 year old system);

–          introduction of new gambling games (a first step will be represented by the new game 100.000 lei Ball);

–          the opportunity of acquiring lottery tickets via modern media (mobile phones, tablets, computers);

–          opening the remote lottery gambling site, within the shortest time;

–          restoration of the spaces where the National Company Romanian Lottery (NCRL) runs its activity;

–          affiliation of new partners in a mandate system (we have already a new partnership with Stanleybet);

–          introduction of new types of lottery tickets with attractive prizes.

It is known that you are experienced in the gambling field thanks to the position you occupied at ONJN. How does, from your new position, look the status of the Romanian Lottery on the gambling market?

The Romanian Lottery was, is and will be the most important national gambling operator. In order to also become the most attractive gambling organizer, NCRL needs to urgently transform, to become an honest partner, to offer transparency, and to be predictable. In order to succeed, we must get help from our main shareholder, the Ministry of Public Finance, which should propose several legal changes, absolutely necessary for the operation of the Company’s activity under good conditions.

Do you think that the social role of the Romanian Lottery, especially the reason for which it had been founded 111 years ago, sufficiently reflects on the Romanian society?

There is always room for better. For this, we must say that we have already got actively involved in supporting the efforts of normalization of our fellow citizens’ lives. We have initiated the lottery ticket „(i)Vacation”, and it is already on the market, issued in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism; soon it will be available a lottery ticket series called „The Farmer” issued in support with the Ministry of Agriculture, which has as a main objective the support of the Romanian farmers. We have initiated discussions in support of cancer ill children , and in this purpose we are going to act together with the National Health Insurance Fund (many thanks to the President Marian Burcea!) to identify some substantive and legal ways of help. We shall actively get involved in supporting sports – in partnership with the Nadia Comăneci Foundation, and education – by supporting children growing in disadvantaged environments. Also, it must be said that the Romanian Lottery supports the Romanian culture with approximatively 4 million Euros per year. As you can see, NCRL actively gets involved in the community’s social-cultural life!!!

What are, in your opinion, the gamblers’ expectations , and how would you meet them? In other words, what are Marius Pantea’ ambitions?

I wish to quickly implement the remote (online) gambling, the sports bets, I wish to give people the possibility to submit lottery tickets from their mobile phones, tablets or from their computers; I wish to also offer them the opportunity of participating at new games organized by the Romanian Lottery, or at games organized by European lotteries , which we are going to conclude partnerships with. I am absolutely sure that, through these objectives, we will be able to meet all the expectations of our gamblers.

I wish that the institution I am managing would become independent from the lottery system operation point of view, I wish we would develop partnerships mutually attractive, we would offer gamblers important prizes, we would be transparent and we would get the Romanian Lottery back where it belongs!


Author: Editor

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