Thursday, 5 October 2017
WHEN is a lottery not a lottery? The NSW Government is asking exactly that, announcing today that it is considering plans to crack down on ‘synthetic lotteries’ – a highly profitable form of online gambling that may be misleading consumers.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall welcomed the investigation, noting the rise of online companies allowing Australians to bet on lottery outcomes, like Lottoland.
“These synthetic operations may appear to be legitimate lotteries – when in actual fact consumers are only betting on the outcome of a lottery that often occurs overseas,” Mr Marshall said.
“A domestic lottery has a guaranteed prize pool, with revenue from unsuccessful picks going into the next round. However, synthetic lotteries may be paid out by an insurer – with failed bets heading straight to the company’s coffers.
“While domestic lotteries are held to strict terms and conditions and consumer protection laws, these operations often aren’t bound by regulations designed to protect Australians.”
“It’s also having a marked impact on the local economy. I’ve spoken with several of our region’s newsagents concerned about the loss of trade – all small, local businesses that are losing revenue to gargantuan foreign companies.
“I don’t support lottery charlatans like Lottoland. These companies take people’s money without any consumer protections, don’t put anything back into NSW and threaten the viability of our local newsagents.”
Mr Marshall said these companies typically offer bets on the outcome of a US lottery, hijacking their large prize pools to lure in punters.
“While punters may believe they’re entering into a lottery, these operations are nothing more than highly profitable online gambling – limiting the tough consumer protections that apply to domestic lotteries.
“The NSW Government will investigate whether this breaches existing wagering legislation – and if so, there are a variety of options to limit betting on lotteries in NSW, including an outright ban.
“I’m committed to protecting the rights of consumers and preventing the flow of lottery revenue out of the state. I’ll always stand on the side of local newsagents, and will ensure that when you enter a lottery – what you see is what you get.”