Tue, Jan 22, 9:04am by Staff Writer
Controversial online betting company Lottoland has drawn the ire of Australia’s newsagents once again as they are taking the company to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that a complaint has been lodged by another wagering company that has sparked an ASIC inquiry into Lottoland.
Lottoland recently launched a new product known as “jackpot betting” that determines winners by taking specific numbers from financial markets such as the Australian Securities Exchange at particular times of the day.
The introduction of a new product comes after the government banned ‘synthetic’ lotteries as they undermine the longstanding community acceptance of official lottery and keno products, according to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.
“Traditional lotteries and keno games are popular and longstanding recreational gambling products that form an important income stream for thousands of small businesses across Australia, including newsagents, pharmacies, pubs and community clubs,” Mr Fifield said.
“Online services offering products that involve betting on lottery outcomes are relatively new and have generated considerable community concern. Since these concerns were first raised last year, the government has listened carefully to a range of groups that have views on the undesirability of permitting betting on these products,” Mr Fifield said.
Legislation that was passed in June 2018 came into effect earlier this year and bans Lottoland and other similar agencies from offering customers the ability to bet on international lotteries.
Lottoland claims to have 750,000 users in Australia and offered the chance to bet on the outcome of major American lotteries like Powerball.
The ban on betting on international lotteries came into force despite a last-minute effort from Lottoland to offer a 12 per cent revenue-sharing deal with newsagents, which Liquor & Gaming NSW suggested could be illegal.
Lottoland under investigation in Australia | In an exclusive report, The Sydney Morning Herald details an investigation into Lottoland following an alleged complaint. The complaint has reportedly garnered the attention of three separate authorities… https://t.co/XBiBqLJ4nq
— Gambling Scout (@gambling_scout) January 14, 2019
Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) boss Ben Kearney, who represents more than 4,000 newsagents and lottery ticket sellers, was concerned that “Lottoland seems to be continuing an approach that may confuse and potentially mislead Australian consumers.”
“It continues to use somewhat questionable methods that make Lottoland look like something they are not, and this is something we are looking in to and that we will write to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to raise our concerns,” Mr Kearney said.
Lottoland chief executive Luke Brill said the company was not aware of any complaints by the ALNA, which he described as having “a long history of opposing our business.”
“Our newly developed product – jackpot betting – is fully compliant with Australian law, which is why the product has been approved by the relevant licensing authorities,” Mr Brill said.
“Our new products are based on Australian and international stock market indices, which are declared a betting event under Northern Territory law, Mr Brill said.
“Lottoland has included on its website a page that describes what jackpot betting is and we believe our customers know and understand that our new products are not bets on international lotteries,” he said.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is the regulator of online betting in Australia and is examining the new product to determine whether or not it breaches the interactive gambling rules, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Lottoland is based in Gibraltar and offers online bets on the results of more than 30 different lottery draws worldwide. The company was founded in 2013 by David Rosen with Lottoland providing bets on popular lotteries such as Powerball, Mega Millions, EuroMillions and Eurojackpot.
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