Lottoland is closing in on profit-sharing deals


Lottoland is closing in on profit-sharing deals with Australian newsagents as it digs into fight the proposed Federal ban on online lottery betting.

The company’s Australian chief, Luke Brill, has been seeking to win over State industry bodies representing many of the country’s news and lottery agents with an agreement that would give their members a cut of all online bets on overseas lotteries referred to Lottoland.

“We are close to a deal there, and we hope to conclude that within the next 48 hours,” Mr Brill said yesterday.

The Gibraltar-domiciled group is on the back foot after the Federal Government five weeks ago flagged a ban on “synthetic” lotteries, which see customers bet on the outcome of lotteries without having a ticket in the draw.

The decision comes after lobbying by groups including Tabcorp, Lotterywest and the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association, which argued Lottoland threatens the livelihoods of small lottery retailers, $1 billion in lottery in annual lottery taxes and hundreds of millions of dollars a year in community grants.

Last year, the WA Government also threatened a ban, linking Lottoland to a $62 million, or 7 per cent, fall in Lotterywest’s 2016-17 revenues.

Mr Brill, who was in Perth last week to lobby local politicians, reiterated yesterday that with Lottoland turning over just $17 million in WA, “there is is no way we could be responsible for that sort of deterioration”.

“We are seen as a pariah, but every dollar we’ve made in Australia we’ve put back in to promote and build our brand.”

Mr Brill estimates the group has invested up to $50 million in Australia over the past two years ago, including a ground-naming rights deal with National Rugby League club Manly in Sydney.

This week, it has stepped up its fight for survival by accusing ALNA, arguably its biggest critics, of misrepresenting its influence to the Government and advocating for laws that would give Melbourne-based Tabcorp a monopolistic hold on lotteries on the east coast.

The group has still to see the enabling Bill, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of the month, but it has already flagged a potential High Court challenge.

The ban would take effect six months after the passing of the legislation.

“During that we would consider a High Court challenge, adapt our model or consider other options,” Mr Brill sad.

“But we are determined to stay in Australia.”