\r\nIn every country the world over, week in, week out, millions upon millions of people enjoy the thrill of playing the lottery to give themselves the chance to strike it lucky and win that life-changing fortune. However, what many don\u2019t realise is that there is so much more to a national lottery than big money wins and prizes alone.\u00a0\r\nTake Guyana Lottery Company (GLC), for instance: celebrated, and with an outstanding national reputation for its selection of games of chance and big-ticket prizes that are non-taxable and fun, it is clear to see why Guyana Lottery Company is the go-to lottery of choice in Guyana.\u00a0\r\nThere is more to GLC than meets the eye, however. For more than two decades the company has also served as a cultural development fund for this flourishing South American country, contributing tens of millions of dollars (US) to initiatives that facilitate culture-led economic growth and social causes that enrich the lives and livelihoods of Guyanese people.\u00a0\r\nIntroducing the origins of GLC, owned by parent company Canadian Bank Note Company Limited (CBN), GLC\u2019s General Manager, Tracey Lewis, explained:\u00a0\r\n\u201cThe Guyana Lottery Company (GLCL) launched its operations almost 24 years ago in August 1996 with the instant ticket product. In 1997 the first electronic games were introduced with additional games created for the Guyanese market after much market research.\r\nIn 2011, the GLCL was relaunched with a new online system called \u201cAbrazo\u201d that\u2019s Spanish for \u201cembrace\u201d. The Guyana Lottery logo, now purple and gold. The purple representing wealth, luxury and ambition and the gold representing prosperity; as well as new game logos and changes to games offering players chances to win significant prizes that could change lives.\u00a0\r\nThe Guyana Lottery Company\u2019s portfolio includes traditional lottery games of chance, instant ticket products in varying denominations, sports betting and VLTs.\r\nWith 99% of the staff being Guyanese, two regional sales offices, a Head Office and a sports betting office in addition to an agent network of almost 250 agents countrywide, the GLCL has provided more jobs and revenue for the Government of Guyana for \u201cgood cause\u201d use.\u201d\r\nThe recent discovery of unimaginable oil riches off the country\u2019s coastline has been the economic miracle of recent decades, and as a result of the discovery Guyana is set to join the top table of global oil producers in the near future. In the last year alone the country has achieved year-on-year growth of 84% and, assuming Guyana succeeds in boosting GDP growth by 300-1000% by 2025 as economists anticipate, the country and its people will achieve middle-income status within a generation.\u00a0\r\nGoing forward, Guyana will one day rise to become one of the region\u2019s most formidable economies and yet for the time being the country remains one of South America\u2019s poorer economies. Guyanese communities will be lifted out of poverty organically as the country grows in prosperity but for the time being the government\u2019s coffers are limited, making the funds that GLC channels into social initiatives invaluable.\r\nAs a result of a fairly negotiated agreement between GLC and the Guyanese government, a percentage of GLC sales are contributed to essential Guyanese institutions that greatly improve quality of life for the less privileged. To date, the incredible sum of over 6 billion Guyanese dollars has been raised under the banner \u2018every ticket you buy benefits our country,\u2019 to help with infrastructure investment, social development programs, community and sports initiatives for young people, and national health projects.\u00a0\r\nThe importance of the role such social development schemes play and the positive impact that this has had on the lives of hardworking, less-privileged families is difficult to overstate, as demonstrated by the GLC\u2019s significant contribution to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen GLC provide essential workers with much-needed PPE, along with donations towards COVID relief efforts which provide supplies to healthcare facilities that are on the front line of the battle against coronavirus.\r\nAs one might expect, under the leadership of Tracey Lewis, GLC, with the backing of CBN, has enjoyed a successful year which has seen the company further consolidate its position as the lottery of choice in Guyana. As Tracey explained, GLC has expanded its portfolio of games and implemented a number of cutting-edge technologies so as to bring its product offerings into the online space:\r\n\u201cOur product portfolio is available online. Players are able to register for online accounts and play all of our lottery games and also place bets on their favourite sports under our Let\u2019s Bet Sports brand. Our online system ensures that all bets placed are registered at our central site and we are also able to reach out to our agents with messages via our online Abrazo system.\r\nAdditionally, the GLCL has continued to increase its distribution countrywide with its VLT brand named BLAST. Expansion and accessibility are important factors on our radar to ensure that those who wish to play our games are able to do so conveniently. We continue to provide successful partnership with agents who are able to enhance their profits with the addition of lottery sales.\r\nAnd as a core component of our business all our product lines and participation guidelines are governed by a very developed responsible gaming policy.\u201d\r\nIn terms of what the future holds for GLC and CBN, strategic expansion and investment over the coming 18-months will continue to establish GLC as the market leader in responsible, entertaining gaming options for the Guyanese public. Guyana Lottery Company will continue raising the bar by offering new and improved games that thrill and captivate players, with fantastic prizes, including luxury items such as automobiles, cash prizes large, small and huge, to humble but needed household goods such as food and utilities among other things.\r\nGLC have set themselves apart, not just through their support for the people of Guyana but their approach to business and the belief invested in them by national government. Through its commitment to transparency and trust, GLC have cemented themselves as the leading lottery in Guyana without peer \u2013 a position they are unlikely to relinquish anytime soon.\r\nThese are exciting times for company and country, in spite of the short-term difficulties posed by COVID, and it is a guarantee that as Guyana\u2019s star rises over the comings years, so too will Guyana Lottery Company\u2019s as it does what it does best: entertains, captivates, and serves the greater good.