BUSINESS

Opposition to Australian federal ban on lottery betting gains momentum

TAGs: Australia, Lottoland, Luke Brill

More Australians are calling on the federal government to abandon its plan to ban lottery betting, according to Lottoland Australia Chief Executive Luke Brill.

Support against Australian federal ban on lottery betting gains momentumGaming Intelligence reported that over 15,800 Australians have signed the petition prodding the federal government to spare wagering on overseas lotteries. For Brill, the numbers are encouraging, particularly since the operator is nearing its possible eviction from the land down under.

“The public response to this petition has been staggering and sends a clear message to the Government that the community does not support a ban on overseas lottery betting,” Brill said, according to the news outlet.

The Australian government should abandon the legislation for the sake of its 700,000 customers and 15,800 petition signatories, according to Brill.

“This petition only began at the end of April, and already more than 15,800 people have put their name on the record opposing legislation that will deny Australians the right to bet on overseas lotteries,” he said.

To put things in perspective, the Lottoland executive claimed that the petition garnered more support and signatories in a faster period than the ‘Lottoland’s Gotta Go!’ campaign of rival Tatts Group (now part of Tabcorp Holdings) earlier this year.

Brill added that it cost Tabcorp/Tatts some AUD5 million (US$3.79 million) to launch their “national smear campaign” intended “to con MPs into handing them an indefinite monopoly.”

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

The bill aimed 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.

Brill claimed that his company had been singled out “despite being a fully regulated and compliant ‘disrupter’ in the lottery sector.”

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. 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.

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