EX­CLU­SIVE: LOTTOLAND BANNED FROM THE TER­RI­TORY

Fyles bans book­ies tak­ing bets on Aussie lotteries

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - JA­SON WALLS

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.

Natasha Fyles

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