n 2014, CIBELAE proposed to attend to the gambling industry's most important events. and thus gained visibility as well as contacts. That's why we will follow the same playbook in 2015. What's more, CIBELAE organizes three seminars each year, and by mid-2015, we will also open an office in Dominican Republic. The seminars will be held in Mar del Plata and possibly in Mendoza (Argentina) and Paraguay and
Preparate 2015, the first event, will be held March 11-12 in Mar del Plata. It will offer a seminar, a small fair, networking opportunities and a dinner show. On March 10 in the run-up to the main event, the board of directors of CIBELAE and the Association of Lotteries, Pools and Casinos of Argentina (ALEA) will meet up to work at a parallel level. They are planning the largest seminar so far, with an attendance upwards of 200 to 300 people.
What are the most important accomplishments achieved this year?
Luis Gama: No doubt the growth of CIBELAE: new countries have joined. We already count with four star providers (and three more will most likely join, too) and several entities that have applied for entrance as regular member observers.
What is the role of the star providers?
Gama: Star providers have a prestigious place within CIBELAE, a special role at our seminars and events, and also have the chance to make a presentation at the meetings of our Board of Directors. we always devote a space in CIBELAE's magazine for them.
Why do you think the countries that this year joined CIBELAE had not done so earlier?
Néstor Cotignola: Luis Gama stepping into the CIBELAE presidency brought a big change to the corporation. We had visited those countries that were not yet a part of CIBELAE, we insisted them and stressed the importance of CIBELAE. The results are the fruit of perseverance.
Thus, we added the Colombian Federation of Lotteries (FEDELCO) with its 14 lotteries, Conajzar Paraguay, and Compañía Nacional de Fianzas SAS (National Surety Company; Colombia), all four star providers and regular members, as well as observers, such as the Corredor Empresarial de Colombia (Business Broker of Colombia).
We made the decision to go to the places where the people of the industry were. We had a booth at FADJA and there we met Corredor Empresarial and some presidents of the lotteries. It was a task of hard work and sweat. In addition, diffusion is very important. We created a communication area, designed a new distinctive look to our magazine, our social networks and we will soon launch our new website. Now, CIBELAE has a present and a future.
Each country is different, but what do you think are the main weaknesses of the lotteries?
Gama: Despite the fact that each country has its own particular features, I think the same problems are common to all of us and that we need to find joint solutions. Online gaming is a common theme in every country of the region. The great challenge of CIBELAE as a reference is to offer solutions. That's why, in the seminars we organize, we analyze those issues and call on specialists. Each one must describe his or her experience and then seek for a solution.
Cotignola: We want to bring an auspicious space for the exchange of experiences, among state and also private lotteries. Our aim is to improve the seminars.
Gama: We are becoming more professional and we want to meet the benchmarks of the World Lottery Association (WLA), which is our mirror.
Which is the main challenge for 2015?
Gama: We want to keep on growing. I think that this year we have made several achievements. I want all Latin American countries to join CIBELAE. We want to bring Chile back into the fold. Our big goal is to continue growing, adding new members, and to continue spreading the word about what CIBELAE is all about.
Cotignola: In the long term, we propose to launch a multi-jurisdictional game. We want to try to be true to our motto and gather America through the lotteries.