Lottoland, the Gibraltar-based operator that offers wagering on Australian lotteries, is no longer allowed to operate in Australia’s Northern Territory. The stunning ban was announced earlier this week and could mean bad news for the operator’s innovative, and controversial, business model.
Word of the Northern Territory ban came down early this week as lawmakers made it clear that they were going to ban anyone holding a Northern Territory gaming license from offering wagering on Australian lotteries. (You don’t need a law degree to know who that rule was aimed at.)
The plight of Australian news vendors, the folks who also sell lottery tickets, has been front and center in the discussion of Lottoland’s disruptive business model and the decision in the Northern Territory was no exception. In a statement to the NT News (subscription required), Northern Territory Attorney General Natasha Fyles explained the reasoning behind the ban saying:
…concerns have been raised about how this synthetic betting practice has undercut hardworking small businesses, including many newsagencies. I have listened to the concerns and I’m taking action.
It’s worth noting that Lottoland’s Northern Territory ban only covers wagering on Australian lotteries, not international lotteries. The assumption has long been that lottery players would somehow rather wager on the Australian lottery than actually buy an Australian lottery ticket. Now that assumption will actually be put to the test.
In a statement to CalvinAyre.com, Lottoland Australia CEO Luke Brill accepted the reality of the situation saying:
Lottoland Australia is disappointed but we respect this decision. We offer value and choice through innovation to more than 650,000 Australians and, importantly, there are no restrictions on our international products, meaning our customers can continue to bet on the outcome of overseas lotteries.
The question hanging in the air now is whether or not other Aussie territories will follow the Northern Territory’s lead and ban Lottoland from accepting wagers on Australian lotteries?
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