Changes to end synthetic lotteries in Australia?

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) is urging the Government to consider the national economic impact of Lottoland.

ALNA is calling for a suitable amendment to the Federal Interactive Gambling Act, which will impose legislative restrictions on betting on lottery outcomes.

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 is currently before the House of Representatives and has reignited discussions about privately owned Lottoland.

Lottoland operates like an online-only bookmaker, taking bets on certain lotto numbers being drawn, and relies on complex insurance policies to pay winners. Many people in Australia still find this model very confusing and think they are entering a lottery. But despite its name, Lottoland is a wagering operator that offers bets on lottery outcomes, not tickets in a draw. These are known as ‘synthetic lotteries’.

A spokesperson for the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association said: “Our members have customers requesting Lottoland tickets, wrongly thinking that Lottoland offers the same opportunities to enter a lottery draw, but at a lower price – when in fact it doesn’t. It is a wagering website that is not subject to the same rigorous regulations that Australian official lotteries adhere to.”

ALNA requests urgent action to support a policy position in the Interactive Gambling Act that will impose similar legislative restrictions to those already in place in South Australia, which make it an offence for Lottoland to sell products to the state’s residents. Legislation there does not permit betting on lottery outcomes, meaning Lottoland is not permitted to sell its products in South Australia.

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