Immediate changes needed to end lotto betting in Australia

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Tatts Group has launched a national campaign against lotto betting by bookmakers like Lottoland, echoing the concerns held by thousands of small businesses along with many government representatives.

Lotto bets (synthetic lotto), like Lottoland, Planet Lottery, and other new entrants, are different to official regulated lottery draws. They are online-only bookmakers, offering bets on lottery outcomes, not tickets in a draw, and in the case of Lottoland, rely on complex insurance linked securities to pay any winners.

The national TVC campaign, educating Australians about the nature of wagering websites, launched on Sunday. It was followed by a grassroots campaign run by news and lottery agents to oppose bookmaker Lottoland’s “aggressive targeting” of their livelihoods.

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) CEO Adam Joy says the campaign is a response to many Australians being very confused about this betting model and thinking they are entering a lottery, “not realising that it takes away from local, family-run businesses and the 20,000 staff employed by news and lottery agents”.

ALNA is requesting urgent action to amend the Federal Interactive Gambling Act. ALNA has also requested that states impose their own legislative restrictions. In South Australia, legislation there does not permit betting on lottery outcomes, therefore, Lottoland is not permitted to sell its products to South Australian residents.

“We have had positive engagement from both federal and state governments about the impacts of ‘lotto betting’ on small businesses and their communities. They have overwhelmingly expressed concern about the proliferation of this type of betting model and are receptive to addressing this.”

The lottery and newsagents’ industry plays a vital role in the Australian economy. There are more than 4,000 independent, family-owned businesses that offer official lottery tickets in Australia; together these make up Australia’s largest retail and home delivery group. The industry has a turnover of $6 billion and contributed approximately $1.365 billion in Australian lottery taxes in FY17.

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