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Lottoland has support from industry heavyweight

Mon, Apr 22, 12:52pm by Staff Writer

Lottoland is once again in the spotlight, this time for jackpot betting, according to Casino Australia.

The company has been banned form a variety of internet gaming and overseas-based lotteries, so has embarked on a new venture.

Jackpot betting works based on financial markets, and people can bet by trying to match numbers with financial indexes. This is Lottoland’s way of getting around the latest laws, and it stands by the legality of what it offers.

However, many financial exchanges have filed formal complaints with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Regulators have been looking into jackpot betting, but nothing final has come from investigations thus far.

The Lottery Office, however, is now on board with the investigation. The Northern Territory-licenced lottery is ready to know the answers and supports the country’s regulator in its search.

Then, enter the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA), a group that has launched a campaign to delegitimise The Lottery Office. The ALNA says The Lottery Office operates in a grey area, similar to the one the latter accuses Lottoland of operating in.

Lottery Office having a bit each way

The two situations are different, but The Lottery Office finds itself fighting both sides of the battle.

The Lottery Office has officially come out in support of regulators’ inquiries into Lottoland and its jackpot betting offerings. The Australian-owned organisation is the only licenced Northern Territory lottery operator online. The operator allows players to bet on lotteries around the world like Powerball and Mega Millions in the United States, and EuroMillions in Europe.

Jaclyn Mundy, General Manager of The Lottery Office, has given her support for a strictly-controlled environment. And she is concerned that people will confuse her company’s products with those from Lottoland.

“Some of the names that Lottoland is using for financial market betting, such as US Power, are obviously designed to look like its previous ‘lottery betting’ products, though its products based on financial market indices from around the world have nothing to do with lotteries. This may be confusing for consumers. Also, it is hard to tell from their advertising if what they offer really is ‘jackpot’ betting,” Ms Mundy said.

Government cracks down on online lotteries

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.

Lottoland claims to have 750,000 users in Australia and offered the chance to bet on the outcomes of major American lotteries like Powerball.

ALNA make their feelings known

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.

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