The lottery betting company Lottoland, which has recently been surrounded by a lot of controversy in Australia, is to see certain restrictions imposed by the Northern Territory Government that are to prevent the company from accepting bets on Australian lottery draws. Currently, the operator holds a license only with the Northern Territory, which also allows it to operate in other states around the country.
Reportedly, the Government of the Northern Territory decided to put certain restrictions on the Gibraltar-based gambling operator as a result of the massive and widespread campaign that Australia-based newsagents and lotto operators started against Lottoland.
The Northern Territory Government, as well as the state governments of Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania, have taken steps to potentially implement certain restrictions on the operations of the company. Opponents of Lottoland’s business model, including newsagents, a number of officials for the aforementioned states, and traditional lottery operators, have been blaming Lottoland for massive declines in lottery revenue in the local market since the company’s website has been present there.
Natasha Fyles, the Attorney-General of the Northern Territory, revealed that she had urged the Northern Territory Racing Commission to take actions against Lottoland and its likes and prevent them from accepting bets on Australian lottery draws.
Lottoland currently has over 650,000 registered Australian users. The company does not operate as a traditional lottery, but accepts bets on the results of a large variety of lottery draws, including the EuroMillions lottery, the US Powerball lottery, as well as the Spanish Christmas Lottery called El Gordo.
Lottoland Facing a Nationwide Campaign
For some time now, the Federal Government of Australia has been considering taking certain actions related to the activity of companies accepting bets on different lottery draws, such as Lottoland. Recently, the national Attorney-General’s office has been organising a series of meetings in order to discuss possible options that would help them handle the situation.
In the mid-October, several meetings were held between the members of the Attorney-General’s office and the National Newsagents Association and one of the leading local gambling operators – Tatts Group. The increased opposition against Lottoland and its likes emerged after at the beginning of October it became clear that the New South Wales Government has been considering the introduction of certain limitations in relation to the lottery betting company’s operations in the state.
As mentioned above, the Gibraltar-based operator has been facing a massive nationwide campaign, as it was blamed for the fact that it does not pay taxes to the Australian state governments, except to government of the Northern Territory where it is licensed. The company has recently said that it would pay a 15% point-of-consumption tax to the Western Australia Government, when it is introduced.
The state of Victoria has also been considering the implementation of certain limits to the operations of Lottoland, as part of its effort to keep foreign operators away by rolling out a new piece of legislation. The Government of Western Australia has, too, raised a red flag about the services provided by Lottoland. In September, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that they have been mulling the possibility to block the operator from offering its services there.
UPDATE: Lottoland issued a written statement on the Northern Territory’s decision. Here’s the complete statement by the Gibraltar-based operator:
Response to the Northern Territory Government’s announcement to no longer permit betting on the outcome of Australian lotteries.
Luke Brill, CEO of Lottoland Australia said:
Lottoland Australia is disappointed but we respect this decision and we will work with the Northern Territory Government to implement the necessary changes to our business.
We offer value and choice through innovation to more than 650,000 Australians and, importantly, there are no restrictions on our international products, meaning our customers can continue to bet on the outcome of overseas lotteries.
Overseas lotteries are the preferred betting option amongst our customers as they offer larger jackpots.
From day one Lottoland has strived to grow the market through our international offering. Every bet placed on an international lottery is incremental revenue that state governments and newsagents can benefit from if they work with Lottoland.
We are still committed to working with newsagents so they can expand their service offering through our platform and counter the negative impact Tatts’ digital business is having on their revenues. Our offer to state governments on paying a point of consumption tax also stands.
Now there is clarity from the Northern Territory Government on their position, we look forward to continuing to provide Australian customers an innovative service they value.