Lottoland’s latest 10 percent offer to newsagents not welcomed by all


Lottoland Australia, under siege by governments pushing to outlaw the company, has extended a revenue-sharing “olive branch” to newsagents to win support for the online wagering business.

The company has proposed what it calls a “world-first” partnership model with newsagents that could see them take a 10 per cent cut of every bet one of their customers makes with Lottoland.

The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association has dismissed the offer as disingenuous. Adam Joy, chief executive of the industry body, labelled it a ploy to stop a campaign against Lottoland. He said he would inform his members of the offer but he did not expect it to be supported.

The association has spearheaded a $5 million campaign, backed by Tatts Group, to outlaw Lottoland, which is an online­ ­operator that offers bets on lottery results. The industry body has ­argued the online bookmaking site threatens the state tax revenue generated by lotteries and will hurt newsagents. State governments have got behind the campaign and promised to legislate to ban the company.

Luke Brill, chief executive of Lottoland, said he had listened to newsagents and created a revenue-sharing model, recognising they needed to work together. “This model complements in-store lottery purchases and opens a channel for these businesses to benefit from the emerging pool of online-only punters,” Mr Brill said.

Under the proposal, punters would select a local newsagent when they registered with Lottoland. Their chosen newsagent would then receive 10 per cent of all their future online bets. Lottoland said it would also extend the initiative to its existing 600,000 customers. Newsagents would be required to advertise Lottoland in their stores with promotional materials such as posters and flags.

“We will take a hit to our margin but we appreciate that we need to act and listen to the newsagents and consumers and this is our attempt at doing that,” Mr Brill said.

“We aren’t the big, bad enemy. We are happy to work with newsagents and compensate them and help them transition from offline to online.”

Mr Joy questioned the revenue-sharing offer. On a $1 Lottoland ticket, he said, newsagents would only get 10 cents and the payments would be made quarterly and in arrears.

“Lottoland has not acted in a way to date that you would call reputable or transparent,” he said.

In response to increasing opposition to his business, Mr Brill has also asked all states and territories to introduce a point-of-consumption tax. “We must be the only business in Australia asking governments to tax us … we are willing to pay. We just need the tax infrastructure that makes this possible.”