A Lottoland crackdown has been on the cards for many Australian states and territories, but it appears the NSW government may be the first to ban lottery betting sites.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that the state government is preparing to “take steps to restrict the operation of synthetic lotteries”.
Lottoland was the first online lottery betting site in Australia, launching in 2016 after it received a bookmaker licence from the Northern Territory.
Other online lottery sites have since established including CrownLotto, which is run by popular online betting site, CrownBet. Online bookmaker, William Hill, teamed up with Lottoland to offer lottery betting via its site, Planet Lottery.
Online lottery betting sites don’t sell tickets into the official draws. Instead, they allow players to bet on the outcome. However, they allow Australians to participate in international lotteries, including the US Mega Millions, EuroMillions, and other overseas draws.
Lottoland has had a target on its back ever since state and territory government tax revenue from local lotteries began to decline.
The independent body for newsagents also launched a campaign to get Lottoland banned, alongside the Tatts Group.
Racing Minister, Paul Toole, told the Daily Telegraph that the NSW government is looking into strategies which would restrict betting on lotteries. Whether this is on Australian based lotteries only, or international draws too, is not clear.
“Payment of winnings may rely on complex commercial arrangements between the operator and its insurer,” he said.
“The conduct of synthetic lottery operators may breach existing wagering legislation and the NSW Government is currently assessing options to determine the most effective approach to restrict betting on these lotteries in NSW.
“A synthetic lottery, on the other hand, is no more than online gambling.”
Any ban would end the long-term deal with the National Rugby League’s Manly Sea Eagles, including the naming rights of the teams home ground.
Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, echoed Mr Toole’s sentiments and said the government was “committed to standing up for local businesses and consumers”.
Lottoland was forced to change its advertising last year to explain to customers that they weren’t buying tickets into official lottery draws, but the Deputy Premier believes people still don’t know how the site works.
“Our concern is that many customers buy tickets in a synthetic lottery, believing they’re entering a lottery, when in fact they are instead betting on the outcome of that lottery,” he said.
“A domestic lottery has a guaranteed prize pool, and is bound by strict terms and conditions and robust regulations.”
Lottoland pays tax to the NT government and, if it wasn’t banned in South Australia, it would pay the state’s point of consumption (POC) tax implemented in July.
If Western Australia doesn’t ban Lottoland, then the online lottery site will have to pay a POC tax from 2019 onwards. Lottoland has also stated it is open to paying a nationwide POC tax.
“In other words, don’t ban us, tax us,” a spokesman for Lottoland said.
“As of July 1 this year, Lottoland has been paying GST and also pays corporate tax.”
Try online lottery betting for yourself
Australian lottery players can win $455 million this week in a special jackpot up for grabs by Lottoland for the US Powerball lottery draw.
The current estimated jackpot for one of the most popular lotteries in the US is just over $100 million, but Lottoland is giving players the chance to win over four times as much this week provided you get your entries in by Sunday 12pm AEDT. Create a Lottoland account if you don’t already have one and be sure to read the terms and conditions before purchasing your tickets.
If you think several people will win the Division One prize, then you can opt in for the Number Shield. By adding a Number Shield, you are protecting your numbers, which means if you win your bet and someone wins the US Powerball, you won’t have to share the prize.
Lottoland can offer bigger jackpots than the underlying jackpot, as it takes out insurance to cover the winnings. When a player wins, they can choose to be paid a discounted lump sum payment, or they can opt to receive the full amount over several payments.
If you don’t make the draw today, you can check out the full range of lotteries on offer at Lottoland under the menu tab or head to Planet Lottery where you can bet on sports and racing too.
You can also check out CrownLotto which offers a range of overseas lotteries including the Brazilian MegaSena, which is at $22 million, and the EuroJackpot, which is at $33 million.