EXCLUSIVE: LOTTOLAND BANNED FROM THE TERRITORY
Fyles bans bookies taking bets on Aussie lotteries
ATTORNEY-GENERALNatasha Fyles has moved to disrupt the business model of controversial betting company Lottoland by banning bookies from accepting bets on Australian lotteries.
In a statement to the NT News last night, Ms Fyles said she had directed the Northern Territory Racing Commission to ban NT licensed bookmakers from accepting bets on the outcomes of Australian-based lotteries.
Ms Fyles said the move was a response to concerns Lottoland’s “synthetic business practice” had “undercut” Territory businesses and newsagents.
“The Territory Labor Government takes online gambling regulation very seriously and we aim to provide a strong regulatory framework for the sports bookmaking industry,” she said. “Concerns have been raised across the country about how this synthetic betting practice has undercut hardworking small businesses, including many newsagencies in the Northern Territory.
“I have listened to concerns and I’m taking action.”
Lottoland chief executive Luke Brill said the company respected the decision and would work with the government to implement the necessary changes to its business model.
But Mr Brill downplayed those effects, noting the company’s customers preferred betting on overseas lotteries, which would be unaffected by the change.
“Importantly, there are no restrictions on our international products, meaning our customers can continue to bet on the outcome of overseas lotteries,” he said. “Overseas lotteries are the preferred betting option among our customers as they offer larger jackpots.”
Ms Fyles said affected licensees would be afforded a “short, reasonable period” to make the required changes to their business systems before the direction was formally enacted. Mr Brill reiterated the company’s offer to pay a point of consumption tax and enter into a revenue sharing model with newsagents.
“For the time being, customers will be able to use all our betting products as we await confirmation on the date the changes will be formally enacted,” he said.