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ASC boss John Wylie proposes a lottery to fund Olympic success

Mon, Nov 28, 2:13am by Staff Writer

After Australia recorded its lowest meal tally in 24 years at the Rio Games, Australian Sports Commission (ASC) boss John Wylie is proposing a national lottery to help get Australia back to the top.

The ASC boss insists a national online lottery to help rescue the nation’s flagging Olympic fortunes would not fuel problem gambling.

The model that Wylie has proposed is based on the UK model and is part of a plan to raise money for elite and community sport in after a poor medal haul at the Rio Olympics in August.

According to the ASC, the lottery system would appeal to less impulsive gamblers than other types of gaming – “people who would be motivated to buy a lottery ticket because it’s going to a good community cause”.

Wylie said it would raise between $30 million and $50 million a year for elite and grass roots sport, which is chronically underfunded now.

An established operator would run the lottery and would also raise money for other community causes including the arts, Wylie added.

“We would outsource the management of the lottery itself to an established operator, someone who has experience and acumen in this area.”

“We’ll make sure that any lottery along these lines is run in a highly regulated fashion that is consistent with responsible gambling,” Wylie said on ABC Radio.

“We’re very conscious that we want to raise more revenue for Australian sport but we want to do it in a way that’s responsible.

“We think there is an opportunity here to do something good for the country to put more money into high performance programs but also community sporting programs, which are underfunded.

Given grants to the ASC total $254 million a year, lottery funding would not be a “game changer” but Wylie was adamant that the ASC needed to seek new forms of revenue to restore Australia’s reputation as a great sporting nation.

The Grattan Institute recently proposed a tax on sugary drinks and Wylie said he would also consider supporting this if the proceeds were pumped into community health and sport.

“We don’t accept for a minute any defeatist argument that Australia can’t be successful in elite sport,” he said.

“The fact is we are underfunded … [But ] we are not just sticking our hand out and looking for more taxpayer funds,” added Wylie.

“We are unambiguously and unashamedly standing up for sport and saying this matters.”

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