Lottoland has hit out at the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) and called for the government to reconsider its ban on online lottery betting.
Following a federal move against lottery betting sites in March, Lottoland Australia’s Luke Brill has criticised the ANLA for misrepresenting its position and not considering the interests of its members. In a press statement released on May 1, chief executive Brill said Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) documents suggest the representative body is in trouble.
“According to ALNA’s own auditors, the organisation is in financial disarray, with the auditors telling ASIC that there is significant uncertainty as to whether the group will continue as a going concern,” read Brill’s statement.
Claims ALNA Has Misrepresented Its Position
As well as the ASIC evidence suggesting the organisation is struggling financially, the Lottoland executive said it doesn’t have the support it insists it has.
“We’re shocked and disappointed to find out that a body that the Government believes has over 4,000 newsagents nationally as members has in fact only 707 paid members – about 80% less than claimed,” Brill continued.
Given the apparent discrepancies with the ALNA’s figures, Brill believes the government was misled over the issue of lottery betting sites and Australia’s newsagents. On April 5, the ALNA called Lottoland’s attempts to offer stores incentives to advertise their product as a “desperate PR manoeuvre.”
The comments came after it emerged that Lottoland was offering newsagents 20 percent of the profit made from every bet made by a customer they referred to the site. Tim Costello of the Alliance for Gambling Reform hit out at the initiative, suggesting that local stores advertising foreign lotteries was the “last thing” Australia needed.
Ban Would Create a Monopoly
However, with evidence obtained by Lottoland suggesting that the ALNA may not represent the majority of newsagents within the country, Brill wants the debate to be reopened. Under the proposed legislation, the government will amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) to outlaw online lottery betting.
Specifically, the amendment will stop Australian’s from betting money on events that may or may not happen during the course of a lottery or keno draw. Should the ban come into full effect, residents would only be permitted to play government sanctioned lotteries operated by the Tatts Group Limited (now part of Tabcorp).
For executives at Lottoland, this would create a harmful monopoly that would not only cost newsagents financially, but consumers who will be forced to accept a single supplier.