State governments cracked down on Lottoland betting on domestic lotteries last year, and now the federal government is looking to stop synthetic lotteries from even operating in the country.
Lottery-betting agencies, like Lottoland, will not be permitted to operate in Australia under a new bill introduced by the Turnbull government.
Communications minister Mitch Fifield’s proposed ban of synthetic lotteries — where customers bet on the outcome of lotteries rather than entering them — is expected to be a boon for small business owners and government coffers.
“These products enjoy community support as they generate an income stream for small retail businesses and make a significant contribution, through licence fees and taxation, to the provision of public services and infrastructure by state and territory governments,” Fifield said.
The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA), which has been influential in the push to banish foreign lottery-betting services, said it was a win for thousands of family businesses across Australia.
“This will be welcome news for the consumers who have been misled by these online schemes, the communities that have been concerned about the impact on state tax revenues and the more than 4000 small businesses and their 15,000-plus employees that are regulated lottery retailers,” CEO Adam Joy said.
State government pressure last year saw Lottoland agree to stop taking bets on Australian lotteries, but it still has about 650,000 registered customers in the country.
CEO of Lottoland, Luke Brill, argued on Tuesday that its “offering does not have a direct impact on newsagents”.
“On the contrary, we want to work with newsagents to provide customers with greater choice and even better services, which have the potential to be highly beneficial for individual newsagents,” he added.
“While we understand the concerns expressed by some newsagents, the proposed legislation is both misguided and unnecessary.”
Lottoland as an advertiser
Lottoland is a prominent advertiser across a number of fields, and a spokeswoman for Free TV Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald, that the ban would have a “significant impact” on operations.
“We are disappointed at the total lack of consultation on this,” she said.
This is also another headache for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, which is currently 12 months into a three-year ground sponsorship deal with Lottoland.
According to SportingNews, at the time the Gibraltar-based agency agreed to the Brookvale Oval deal, Sea Eagles’ COO Neil Bare said it “will save rugby league on the northern beaches”.
Bare was yesterday sensationally deregistered from his executive role at the club after the Sea Eagles were found guilty of a $1.5 million salary cap rort.
The legislation to ban lottery betting, if it succeeds, would take effect six months after it passes parliament.