Lottoland banned from selling bets on Australian lotteries

15 November 2017

After months of campaigning from state lotteries and newsagent groups, the Northern Territory Government has stepped in and banned Lottoland from selling bets on Australian lotteries.

As Lottoland operates in Australia via a licence issued by the Northern Territory, the decision means it will no longer be able to take bets on Australian lotteries anywhere in the country – similar to the system in the UK where it cannot accept bets on National Lottery products.

Prior to the Northern Territory's announcement, governments in New South Wales, Tasmania and West Australia had publicly stated their intention to ban synthetic lotteries in their states. In South Australia legislation already prohibits bets on lotteries.

The ban comes in response to a major campaign led by the Tatts Group and the Australian Lottery and Newsagent Association (ALNA) to ban synthetic lotteries.

The decision comes just a week after Lottoland launched a marketing drive to attract Aussie punters to its Melbourne Cup jackpot of A$100m, which far eclipsed the A$30m on offer with the underlying Oz Lotto draw.

Luke Brill, chief executive of Lottoland Australia, said that the firm would now focus all of its efforts in Australia on bets on overseas lotteries.

“Lottoland Australia is disappointed, but we respect this decision and we will work with the Northern Territory Government to implement the necessary changes to our business,” Brill said in a statement.

“We offer value and choice through innovation to more than 650,000 Australians and, importantly, there are no restrictions on our international products, meaning our customers can continue to bet on the outcome of overseas lotteries.

“Overseas lotteries are the preferred betting option amongst our customers as they offer larger jackpots.

“From day one, Lottoland has strived to grow the market through our international offering; every bet placed on an international lottery is incremental revenue that state governments and newsagents can benefit from if they work with Lottoland.”

Brill said Lottoland was still interested in forging better relationships with governments and newsagents, and added that the offer to pay point-of-consumption tax is still on the table.

“We are still committed to working with newsagents so they can expand their service offering through our platform and counter the negative impact Tatts’ digital business is having on their revenues,” Brill said.

“Our offer to state governments on paying a point of consumption tax also stands.

“Now there is clarity from the Northern Territory Government on their position, we look forward to continuing to provide Australian customers an innovative service they value.”

Adam Joy, chief executive of ALNA, said the initial ban is a “positive move”, but is still keen for the Federal Government to go further and legislate against any form of betting on synthetic lotteries in Australia.   

Joy told the Herald Sun newspaper: “Consumers will still be bombarded with potentially misleading advertisements for these risky betting products that are lacking certainty around payout figures.

“And they will still be lured into profiting a highly unethical business, including at the expense of news and lottery agents.”

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