THE Australian Federal Government has given Lottoland and Planet Lotto six months to pack and leave the country.
The government took this decision after sustained campaigns from licensed retail agents who have claimed the lotto operators are fraudulent and damage their business. Antagonists also say the gaming operators have fake lottery websites that serve to scam the Australian people.
To this extent, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield says he will be introducing a bill to federal parliament banning all forms of betting on lotteries and keno games.
Fifield says lottery incomes are used to fund Government services
Fifield stated that Lottoland and Planet Lotto are synthetic lotteries, and that they go contrary to what people believe official lottery and keno products should be.
According to the communications minister, small retail businesses are funded by income-generated from lottery and keno products. State and regional governments are also able to execute public services and infrastructure with incomes generated from lottery/keno games licence fees and taxation.
Fifield added that keno games and traditional lotteries are recreational gambling products that people are used to. Incomes generated from them go toward funding schools, hospitals, roads, public transport, community clubs, pharmacies and even newsagents, among other small businesses across Australia.
Fifield noted that “online services offering products that involve betting on lottery outcomes are relatively new and have generated considerable community concern.”
To make it easy for both Lottoland and Planet Lotto to wind down their operations in the country, Fifield said the legislation will take effect six months after it’s passed, so that the affected operators can “have an appropriate transition period within which to cease their activity.”
Lottoland CEO Luke Brill says proposed legislation is misguided
Representing over 4,000 businesses with over 15,000 employees, the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) says they are satisfied with Fifield’s proposed amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act.
Based in Gibraltar, Lottoland operates by enabling users to bet on the results of international lotteries. South Australia prohibits lottery betting. But in the Northern Territory, Lottoland and Planet Lotto are registered as sports bookmakers.
In his reaction, Lottoland Australia CEO Luke Brill dismissed the proposed legislation as “both misguided and unnecessary.” He clarified that Lottoland does not offer betting opportunities on any Australian lottery, and what his company provides does not impact on newsagents in any way.
“As a responsible and responsive corporate citizen that contributes extensively to local and community groups, we will continue to work closely with regulators and all political parties to reach a satisfactory outcome in the best interest of our more than 650,000 registered customers,” Brill assured.
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Global gambling legislation news – Week ending February 9