Australia’s Alliance for Gambling Reform is pushing to prevent Lottoland from carrying out an ambitious expansion plan across the country.

Newsagents

Lottoland is asking newsagents across Australia to become affiliates for its online lottery betting services. (Image: Geoff Jones/hawkesburygazette.com.au)

In a statement given to the Guardian Australia on April 5, spokesman for the anti-gambling group Tim Costello said that Aussies don’t need more incentives to bet on overseas lotteries.

The advocate for reform was responding to news that Lottoland’s Australian branch was looking to partner with local newsagents.

Affiliate Deal for Newsagents

As part of a new expansion strategy, Lottoland wants to give newsagents 20 percent of the profit from every bet made by a customer they refer to the site. In return for the payments, store owners would be required to advertise Lottoland inside the premises via posters, flags and other promotion material.

The plan, however, has outraged members of Australia’s leading anti-pokie organisation.

“Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers and online is the fastest growing segment, so the last thing we need is Australia’s 4,000 newsagents promoting gambling on foreign lotteries,” Costello told Guardian Australia.

Leave Like PokerStars Did

The group’s spokesman then went onto suggest that Lottoland’s presence within Australia was unwelcome and unlawful. Citing the 2017 federal legislation that forced online poker operators such as PokerStars out of the market, Costello believes Lottoland should leave the market and stop “deluging” Australians with gambling messages.

Doubling down on Costello’s comments, The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association has advised store owners not to jeopardise their reputations by working worth an unregulated company.

“This is a desperate PR maneuver using newsagents to run an unethical business,” The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association said in a press statement.

Although Lottoland is licensed and regulated in the Northern Territory, South Australia has banned “synthetic” lottery sites that allow customers to bet on national and international lotteries. In contrast, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania are currently reviewing legislation that could allow third-party lottery betting sites to apply for a licence.

With local governments divided as to the validity of lottery betting sites, Lottoland is operating in something of a grey area. Although its services are legal in some parts of the country, there is enough uncertainty that challenges from anti-gambling protesters are capable of gathering some momentum.

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