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Move to ban rogue lotto operators

THERE is a push within the State Government to ban "rogue" lotto operators such as Lottoland as the Attorney-General's office holds high-level meetings to discuss how best to "handle" the issue.

The Courier-Mail can reveal both Tatts Group, which operates lotto in Queensland, and the National Newsagents Association met with members from the state Attorney-General's office recently to discuss possible ways to ban the practice.

There is, however, a preference for the issue to be legislated against at a federal level due to concerns of a possible High Court challenge by an operator like Lottoland.

It comes as NSW earlier this month made moves to ban the Gibraltar-based operator who is licensed out of the Northern Territory and currently pays no tax to any state government except for the Northern Territory.

Queensland Lotto balls are weighed at Department of fair trading in Spring Hill. Rolf Grubwinkler, acting manager of the measurement standards Lab, weighs the Balls.
Queensland Lotto balls are weighed at Department of fair trading in Spring Hill. Rolf Grubwinkler, acting manager of the measurement standards Lab, weighs the Balls.

Lottoland allows punters to bet on the result of a lottery instead of the traditional method where money is pooled. As a result, the operator relies on a hefty insurance policy to pay out any potential winners.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said she was "concerned" that Lottoland would hurt Queensland.

"It's not a fair deal for Queensland businesses or for those Queenslanders buying lotto tickets," she said.

"Lottoland is operating in Australia because it has a Northern Territory wagering licence.

"We are working with the other states and territories to improve consumer protections in wagering, and ensure minimum national standards.

"The Federal Government needs to step up and offer to take national action. They have left the door open for Lottoland, and they need to ensure Australians are protected."

Lottoland Australia CEO Luke Brill said his company was "happy" to pay a point of consumption tax to each state rather than be banned.

"There is the potential of a legal challenge, we would look at it," he said.

"We are licensed in the Northern Territory and we are legally operating in the whole of Australia, and if there was legislation written to ban us, we would look at all options."

News Corp Australia


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