A FOREIGN “fake” lottery betting company at the centre of a campaign from Australian newsagents could soon face a national ban.
The Herald Sun can reveal federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has written to the Northern Territory Government — where online betting company Lottoland is registered — asking to justify granting the site a licence.
The Gibraltar-based Lottoland has been linked to a major dip in tax revenue from local lotteries.
More than $90 million has been wiped off the Victorian Government’s forecasts over the next three years.
It has also led to more than 3000 newsagents across Australia campaigning against its presence in a bid to protect their commissions from selling tickets in state-sanctioned lotteries.
Senator Fifield’s letter to NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles, seen by the Herald Sun, has outlined concerns of parliamentarians and community members over the conduct and business model of synthetic lottery companies.
Other online gaming companies, such as William Hill and CrownBet, have recently launched similar betting sites.
It comes as the Victorian Government announced at the weekend it would move to outlaw gambling on lottery outcomes while WA Premier Mark McGowan announced a crackdown.
Queensland’s Labor Government has also considered following other states.
Lottoland pays an annual $500,000 registration fee to the Northern Territory to allow its more than 600,000 registered Australian members to bet on the outcomes overseas lotteries.
The company, which has been banned in some European countries, has now begun a “tax us, don’t ban us” campaign and offering to pay a “point-of-consumption” tax of up to 15 per cent to all state governments.
Senator Fifield’s letter outlined concerns ranging from misleading customers who believed they were buying a ticket in an official lottery draw, providing a “risky product” that “could exacerbate problem gambling” and “siphoning taxation revenue” from state governments that would otherwise by used to provide community services.
The federal government has a number of options to outlaw wagering on lottery results — which could also including banning betting on Australia-based lotteries but continuing to allow online betting sites taking bets on foreign lotteries results.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson are also pushing for a change in federal laws.
Lottoland Australia chief executive Luke Brill said he was “frankly shocked” at comments from crossbench senators and had moved to reassure critics it was a “legitimate business that pays its way”.
Article Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/controversial-lottoland-could-face-a-national-ban-amid-fierce-campaign-from-newsagents/news-story/2b880ce61ff3dad4c8e1c7968986e797