Aussie lottery retailers reject Lottoland overtures

News on 20 Oct 2017

The Gibraltar-based “synthetic” lottery provider Lottoland’s troubles in the Australian market continue to mount despite the company’s offers to start paying a 15 percent point of consumption tax immediately (see previous reports) and – more recently – it proposal to enter into partnerships with retail lottery ticket sellers.

The latter proposal is that Lottoland punters nominate their local retail ticket agent and said agent would receive 10 percent of every bet the customer placed on the Lottoland website.

The quid pro quo for such an arrangement is to ease the pressure for a ban on Lottoland, and for retailers to advertise Lottoland’s product (with some restrictions) in their stores.

Given that emotions are running high against Lottoland at present, it is not surprising that retailers have rejected the offer, suggesting that it is as “dodgy as its pretend lottery”.

In making the offer, Lottoland’s Aussie chief, Luke Brill, said that his company had listened to the retail ticket sellers’ problems and accepted that there was a need to work with, rather than against, the retail business.

“Newsagents will always have a long-standing cultural link to lotteries, but as it stands there is no infrastructure for them to take advantage of overseas lotteries and online betting. This needs to change,” Brill said.

“This model complements in-store lottery purchases and opens a channel for these businesses to benefit from the emerging pool of ‘online only’ punters.”

Whilst Brill appeared optimistic after meeting with the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ANLA) Monday, the euphoria had crashed by Thursday when the Association published a statement aggressively titled “Lottoland’s latest offer to newsagents as dodgy as its pretend lottery offer”.

In the statement the Association claimed that Lottoland had in the recent past “denigrated” retail ticket sellers, and observed that partnerships require trust, and “usually do not involve a party that is aggressively trying to detract from the other party’s livelihood.’

It added that Lottoland had repeatedly denied that it targets ANLA members’ business, but suggested that Brill’s proposal does exactly that.

“The bookmaker uses concerning tactics to attempt to hijack customers from news and lottery agents, and its marketing is positioned around newsagents and leverages the branding and IP of official lotteries. And now this latest idea proves that they are in fact targeting newsagents’ customers,” ANLA claimed.

ANLA’s hostility to Lottoland, and the company’s rapid inroads into the Australian lottery business, has already been mirrored in statements from several Australian provinces that indicate they are contemplating a ban on Lottoland.

Domestic Aussie gambling giant Tatts has also been assisting in the retail agents’ campaign against Lottoland (see previous reports).

So, that’s a no, then.

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