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Lottoland’s latest product set for scrutiny

Mon, Jan 14, 11:18am by Staff Writer

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is considering a complaint against Gibraltar-based Lottoland’s new “jackpot betting” product, just days after it was launched.

“Jackpot betting” determines winners by taking specific numbers from financial markets such as the Australian Securities Exchange at particular times of the day, arranging them into one long number, and using a computer calculator to convert it into the winning lottery numbers.

Lottoland claims to have 750,000 users and offered Australians the chance to bet on the outcomes of major American lotteries such as Powerball.

It faced a furious backlash from local wagering companies Tabcorp and its TattsLotto division that brought about federal legislation in June 2018.

The government has formed the view that permitting betting on these services, also known as ‘synthetic’ lotteries, undermines the longstanding community acceptance of official lottery and keno products,” Mr Fifield stated.

“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 last Wednesday and bans Lottoland and other similar agencies from offering customers the ability to bet on international lotteries.

Communications Minister to seek clarification from NT AG

After Lottoland began offering its new “jackpot betting” product, Mr Fifield sought advice from ACMA last Friday “to ensure there were no activities that are contrary to the law.”

“As Lottoland is registered in and regulated by the Northern Territory government, the Communications Minister will seek the views of (Northern Territory Attorney General Natasha Fyles) on this latest activity,” a spokesman for Senator Fifield said.

The ban on betting on international lotteries came into force despite a last-ditch effort by Lottoland that included a 12 per cent revenue sharing deal with newsagents which Liquor & Gaming New South Wales suggested could be illegal.

A Northern Territory Justice Department spokeswoman said: “Licensing NT is looking into the matter and no further comment can be made at this time.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the complaint that was lodged last Friday pertaining to this “jackpot betting” product suggests that Lottoland may be offering a financial service.

Other sources told the Herald that if Lottoland was using financial markets to generate random numbers, they could instead be in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act.

Lottoland chief executive Luke Brill hit back saying that “jackpot betting” is just one of a raft of new products the company plans to introduce this year.

“As far as Lottoland is aware, none of the other sports betting operators who offer betting to Australians on financial markets hold an Australian Financial Services License,” Mr Brill said.

“Further, our new products are based on Australian and international stock market indices, which are declared a betting event under NT law.”

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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