BUSINESS

Legal battle looms as Lottoland fights for survival in Australia

TAGs: Australia, Lottoland, Luke Brill

Beleaguered online gambling operator Lottoland doesn’t plan to go quietly into the night if Australia pushes through with a ban on overseas lottery betting.

Legal battle looms as Lottoland fights for survival in AustraliaLottoland has vowed to bring the Australian government before the High Tribunal should parliament pass a bill to ban so-called ‘synthetic lotteries,’ News.com.au reported.

The firm’s statement came out ahead of the House of Representatives’ meeting on Wednesday, when it is expected that Lottoland’s business model will come under intense scrutiny. Lottoland CEO Luke Brill said his company is ready to fight for its survival, even if it means bringing the issue straight to the Supreme Court.

“With 700,000 customers in Australia, we’re going to continue to fight this,” Brill said, according to the news outlet.

In March, Australia introduced the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) Amendment (Lottery Betting) Bill 2018, which seeks to clarify parts of the gambling act that was first introduced in 2001.

The bill aims to prohibit gambling operators like Gibraltar-based Lottoland from “placing, making, receiving or acceptance of bets” on the outcome of “Australian and overseas lottery draws.” The amendments would take effect six months after the bill’s passage.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield believes that the bill is the country’s solution to “fake lotteries,” which he claims have undermined “the long-standing community acceptance of official lottery and keno products.”

Once again, Brill hit rival Tabcorp/Tatts for launching an A$5 million (US$3.75 million) smear campaign against Lottoland to cement its lottery monopoly to the detriment of both newsagents and players. Brill also noted that his company had been singled out “despite being a fully regulated and compliant ‘disrupter’ in the lottery sector.”

“What you’re seeing from Tatts and Tabcorp at the moment is them acting like a monopoly,” said Brill.

So far, Lottoland has gained the support of the Victorian Association for Newsagents General Manager Chris Samartzis and Newsagents Association of NSW and ACT (NANA) Chief Ian Booth in its quest for survival in Australia.

NANA had earlier said that it would continue to negotiate with Lottoland and other organizations for the benefit of its members.In agreeing to talk with Lottoland, NANA said they were concerned that Tatts’ possible monopoly would have “enormous consequences for the news agents.” The group contended that a monopoly isn’t good for either newsagents or consumers, while taking a swipe at other newsagent groups that NANA said had allowed themselves to become Tatts’ mouthpiece.

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