Lottoland denies Australian jackpot betting game breaks law

15 January 2019

Lottoland Australia has denied that its new betting product based on financial markets breaches national gambling laws, despite facing a potential regulatory investigation in the country.

The lottery betting operator launched the product last week, just days after new laws came into effect banning operators from offering betting on the outcome of lottery draws.

The new jackpot betting service works by taking specific numbers from financial markets at certain times of the day, arranging them into a long number and then converting this into winning numbers for a random lottery draw.

A complaint filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) questions whether the new service breaches the new iGaming laws. Australia’s corporate regulator told iGamingBusiness.com that it is aware of the issue, but was unable to comment on any open investigations.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which is responsible for regulating online gambling in the country, is examining the new service at the request of Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

However, Lottoland Australia CEO Luke Brill told iGamingBusiness.com there is no wrongdoing on the operator’s part, saying the new product differs to those prohibited by the lottery betting ban.

“Our new products are based on Australian and international stock market indices, which are a declared betting event under Northern Territory law,” Brill said.

“Lottoland has included on its website a page that describes what jackpot betting is [...] we believe our customers know and understand that our new products are not bets on international lotteries.”

Brill also referenced suggestions that Lottoland requires an Australian Financial Services licence in order to offer the new product. He denies this, saying that as far as the company is aware, no other sports betting operators that offer betting to Australians on financial markets hold this licence.

Lottoland was one of the main opponents of the introduction of new laws on lottery betting in Australia, which had looked set to force it out of the country's lottery market. However, when it was confirmed that the law would come into effect from January 2019, the operator vowed to remain active in the country.