Lottoland under fire for plunge in local lotteries tax revenue

A recent plunge in tax revenue from local Australian lotteries has been linked to the rising popularity of online lottery betting site Lottoland.

According to the Herald Sun, Victorian citizens might have to face less money going towards charities and hospitals due to the increasing threat posed by the Gibraltar-based lotto site, often dubbed the Uber destabiliser of the lottery world.

The newspaper revealed lottery revenue forecasts for 2018 to 2021 have been slashed by almost $90 million, with a loss of $25 million this financial year due to less people buying traditional lottery tickets at their local newsagency or outlet and more people instead betting on their favourite numbers at Lottoland.

Tax revenue from local lotteries has to go towards funding our charities and public health system, which is why Lottoland’s controversial success is in the cross-hairs once again.

Victoria’s Lottery Retailers Association chief Gary Carter told the newspaper Lottoland’s business model was putting 3500 jobs at over 800 newsagents at risk, and the Victorian government isn’t too keen on their undeniably popular presence in Australia, either.

“The government is aware of Lottoland and we’ll continue monitoring the emerging practice of betting on lotteries to make sure consumers aren’t misled,” Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz told the Herald Sun.

The continued criticism from local media and lottery outlet workers is due to Lottoland’s controversial business model, which involves signing up customers to bet on lottery results at similar prices to lottery tickets via their online website or mobile app, rather than actually purchasing said lotto tickets.

If a Lottoland player bets on the right numbers and wins a jackpot, an insurance policy issued in Gibraltar is used to pay the winner.

Lottoland also allows customers to bet on overseas lottery draws such as the US MegaMillions, which has proven to be a large part in its success since opening 18 months ago – it has since claimed an 8 per cent share of the online lottery market and teamed up with Internet bookmaker William Hill.

Licensed in the Northern Territory as a bookmaker, Lottoland has not been immune to criticism or consequence.

The business landed in legal trouble with the Advertising Standards Board (ABS) for broadcasting a television ad which encouraged problem gamblers to hide their addiction from family members,
and they also copped a £150,000 fine from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, an advanced gaming regulator, for misleading customers in its advertising and marketing campaigns.

“Lottoland used ambiguous terminology in their marketing and advertising, which was misleading,” UKGC enforcement director Richard Watson said following the ruling.

Lottoland has countered complaints in the past by pointing out they often employ the use of the term ‘bet’ in their advertisements and relevant legal disclaimers to publicly label itself as a gambling service and not as an online lottery product.

The site recently announced their first ever million-dollar winner.

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