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New lottery player, but for how long?

Fri, Mar 29, 10:17am by Staff Writer

When the Australian Government banned lottery betting company Lottoland at the start of the year, a little known company stepped up to fill the void.

The Lottery Office, a subsidiary of Global Players Network Pty Ltd, has sent millions of dollars in Australian lottery winnings to punters in Europe over the past 16 years.

It is now offering Aussies the chance to bet on billion dollar jackpots like the US Powerball, Mega Millions and Euro Millions.

The Australian Lottery and Newsagent Association, which was behind the lobbying campaign to have the laws around so-called “synthetic lotteries” changed, says The Lottery Office is also operating in a legal grey area.

Earlier this month, the West Australian government said it had moved to shut down the online lottery service because it believe it broke state law by banning the advertising of a foreign lottery, The Australian reported.

While the Gibraltar-based Lottoland allowed punters to bet on the outcome of an overseas lottery – a now-banned practice – The Lottery Office issues a government-authorised Australian lottery ticket.

“We’re definitely not in a grey area,” The Lottery Office general manager Jaclyn Mundey said.

“We are licensed to operate our own lotteries just like Tatts are, and we’re required to buy the matching ticket, that’s what our license says.”

Ms Mundey said The Lottery Office was the only company in Australia with this business model.

Until late last year, Global Players Network was virtually unknown to Australian customers.

It allowed punters in other countries the ability to bet on Australian lotteries via mail order.

Big Powerball jackpot brings a wave of new customers

The Lottery Office said it has been flooded with new customers eager to enter last Thursday’s US$750 million US Powerball jackpot, the fourth largest in the country’s history.

In January, Lottoland replaced its previous offering with a financial markets-based betting product called “jackpot betting”

It retained its lotto-themed imagery and product named, prompting an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Lottoland chief executive Luke Brill said the company “no longer offers lottery betting products, in line with current legislation.”

“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.

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