Amid dwindling funds for sports training, Australia’s Olympic chief John Coates has joined calls for the government to set up a A$50 million ($37.35 million) online lottery.
Reuters reported that Coates was “100 percent supportive of the lottery proposal” made by Mark Arbib, a former sports minister recently appointed Athletics Australia chief, and Swimming Australia boss John Bertrand, since it will help keep Australia’s sports program competitive in the face of rising spending by their rivals.
It cited the case of the UK – a traditional close rival of Australia at the Summer games – as a reason why the country should rely on lottery to fund its sports program.
During the Rio 2016 Olympics, UK improved its medal standing to second place, thanks to a huge increase in funding for elite sports courtesy of the country’s national lottery.
“Olympic sport is in desperate need of funding. We are being out-funded by other countries, particularly Britain and Germany. I would give the lottery wholehearted support and I hope it gets up,” he said.
Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie, on the other hand, also backed calls for the government to set up an online lottery by the end of next year to benefit sport and the arts, saying that Australia was at a “moment of truth.”
“We are on a burning deck in terms of our international performance,” Wylie told The Australian newspaper. “There is no better evidence of that than what has been happening at the Olympic Games.”
“If we are going to remain competitive internationally, if we are going to have a healthy and active society, we need to invest significantly more in the system,” he added.
Australia’s first listed eSports company starts trading
Still in Australia, eSports Mogul has started trading in the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that eSports Mogul, formerly Volta Mining, was said to be the first listed eSports company in Australia, with about 800 million shares listed on November 25 with a market capitalization of AUD 16 million (US$11.98 million).
Former online poker player Gernot Abl will lead the company as its managing director while Volta’s non-executive chairman, George Lazarou is now a non-executive director while David Sumich is the executive chairman.
The listed company owns a 20 per cent stake in eSports Hero, a US company with an online platform where players can win a cash prize pool from each game.