The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is taking a hard look at Lottoland, following a complaint that claimed the Gibraltar-based operator was offering betting products based on international lottery businesses.
Lottoland’s recently released “jackpot betting” product takes numbers from financial markets and international lotteries and uses them to derive a random lottery draw, from which it then pays out its winners. While the action is based on foreign draws, like the American Powerball, it does not allow direct purchasing of lottery tickets for those contests.
In late June, Australia passed laws which would ban offers on international lotteries. This current investigation will analyze if Lottoland’s “jackpot betting” is in violation of that legislation.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Communications Minster Mitch Fifield is seeking advice from the Australian Communications and Media Authority to determine “there are no activities that are contrary to the law.”
Undeterred by the investigation, Lottoland CEO Luke Brill declared that the new “jackpot betting” product was one of many the company plans to roll out this year. He further defended the new product, saying, “Lottoland has included on its website a page that describes what jackpot betting is … we believe our customers know and understand that our new products are not bets on international lotteries.”
Lottoland has had a difficult time in Australia. Last May, the operator lashed out at its competitors and local news for lies made against them to the government. Western Australia also considered advertising bans and player fines, directly targeting Lottoland, in an effort to protect state lotteries.
Despite all that pressure, Lottoland is confident that they can press on, and Brill believes their new products are perfectly legal. He said, “Our new products are based on Australian and international stock market indices, which are a declared betting event under NT law.”