Lottoland calls for rethink on Australian laws

1 May 2018

Lottoland has urged the Australian government to reconsider a ban on online lottery betting after concerns were raised over the activities of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA).

In March, the federal government introduced a blanket ban on betting on lottery games, following a campaign by Australian newsagents, pubs and clubs who feared losing lottery ticket sales.

The ALNA has been one of the main voices to stand against Lottoland and other operators that offer online betting for lottery draws.

However, Lottoland has now said that it has uncovered previously unpublished documents that raise doubts over the financial situation of the ALNA and that it has been misleading the public about its membership numbers.

Obtained from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Lottoland said the documents suggest parent company behind the ALNA is “facing financial ruin”.

Luke Brill, chief executive of Lottoland Australia, said: “These ASIC documents raise serious questions about the financial situation at ALNA and its ability to continue to operate as a going concern, let alone to represent the interest of its members.

“According to ALNA’s own auditors, the organisation is in financial disarray, with the auditors telling ASIC that there is ‘significant uncertainty’ as to whether the group will continue as a going concern.”

Brill also said that while the ALNA claimed it was representing the view of 4,000 newsagents across Australia, the documents show this figure is much lower.

“We’re shocked and disappointed to find out that a body that the Government believes has over 4,000 newsagents nationally as members has in fact only 707 paid members – about 80% less than claimed,” Brill said.

“This raises major questions about the true intent of ALNA and whether it has misled not just the Government and others MPs, but whether it has also misled the public.”

In addition, Brill accused the ALNA of acting against the interests of newsagents by advocating for laws that would hand Tatts, which recently merged with Tabcorp, an “unprecedented monopoly”.

“Rather than address the shocking state of its financial affairs, the ALNA has inexplicably taken part in an Aus$5m (€3.1m/US$3.8m) lobbying campaign to convince the government to ban online lottery betting, which will leave newsagents at the mercy of a Tabcorp monopoly,” Brill said.

“Given these revelations, we are asking the government to put a stop to the planned legislation and start listening to newsagents on the ground.”

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