Australia to ban lottery bets

27 March 2018

Operators such as Lottoland could be outlawed in Australia after plans were unveiled to ban betting on lottery games.

The federal government has been persuaded to act following a long-term campaign by Australian newsagents, pubs and clubs who feared losing lottery ticket sales.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is set to introduce the legislation, which bans betting on international lotteries, on Wednesday.

He said in a statement: “The government has formed the view that permitting betting on these services, also known as ‘synthetic’ lotteries, undermines the longstanding community acceptance of official lottery and keno products.

“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.

“Traditional lotteries and keno games are popular and longstanding recreational gambling products that form an important income stream for thousands of small businesses across Australia, including newsagents, pharmacies, pubs and community clubs.”

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association, which represents more than 4,000 businesses employing more than 15,000 people, welcomed the proposed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Bill, saying the news came as a “relief”.

In a statement, Lottoland Australia chief executive Luke Brill said, “While we understand the concerns expressed by some newsagents, the proposed legislation is both misguided and unnecessary.

“The fact is that Lottoland does not offer betting opportunities on any Australian lottery, so our offering does not have a direct impact on newsagents.”

Related article: Aus newsagents brand Lottoland’s olive branch 'as dodgy as its pretend lottery offer'