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Lottoland Sues Australian Government

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There have been a number of Lottoland lawsuits and investigations carried out. However, the online lottery company has determined that the latest action filed against it is too much. Consequently, it has now filed a Lottoland lawsuit against the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Recently, ACMA determined that Lottoland’s jackpot betting service was based on chance and therefore gambling. This led to the banning of Lottoland’s jackpot betting service. That that was the last straw for Lottoland, which is now suing ACMA in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Let the Courts Decide Lottoland Lawsuit

Days ago, the Lottoland lawsuit was announced. Lottoland filed legal papers in the New South Wales Supreme Court to challenge the views of ACMA.

“We believe their view on jackpot betting is wrong.”

Lottoland Australia Chief Executive Luke Brill told the Sydney Morning Herald that jackpot betting had been approved by Australian licensing authorities per current laws:

“We have worked hard to adapt to recent changes to the law,” he said, “and we are committed to providing exciting new products that our customers love. By taking this stand against ACMA, we are fighting for the rights of hundreds of thousands of Australians who enjoy the occasional flutter. We are fighting for freedom of choice.”

ACMA only acknowledged that Lottoland disagreed with its recent findings and took legal action. Other than that, ACMA replied that it “will not be making further comment while legal proceedings are on foot.”

What is Jackpot Betting?

Essentially, jackpot betting is a way for people to play a sort of lottery by matching numbers with financial indexes. Lottoland explains it as betting on the outcome of selected financial markets. Players choose their numbers, and Lottoland’s automated product extracts numbers from the New York Stock Exchange at its opening time. It then arranges those numbers into one long number, then uses the computer program to convert that into winning numbers.

According to Lottoland, approximately 750,000 Aussie customers participate in it.

Lottoland chose financial markets because the numbers would be unknown to anyone – even Lottoland – until they occurred. They were also free from potential manipulation, while independently audited and governed, guaranteeing fair and equal numbers.

This was the solution that Lottoland devised when the Australian government implemented new laws in January 2019 prohibiting betting on international lotteries.

Complaints and Investigations

Financial exchanges were some of the first to file formal complaints with various regulatory bodies in Australia. They opposed Lottoland’s dependency upon their indexes to collect lottery ticket revenue and pay out jackpots.

Complaints were filed with ACMA, as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Meanwhile, groups like the Northern Territory’s Lottery Office expressed support for the investigations.

Lottery sales organisations feel that Lottoland’s offerings are illegal. They also believe there are non-Australian based companies unfairly marketing those illegal products to Aussies. Thereby cheating official Australian lottery companies out of revenues. They have alleged that tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues that could have been allocated to local and national services have gone to Lottoland instead. And Lottoland spends none of its profits in Australia.

ACMA Investigation Completed

On June 7, ACMA revealed its conclusion after months of investigations.

“Lottoland Australia Pty Ltd has breached the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (the Act) by providing prohibited interactive gambling services. The ACMA investigation found that several Lottoland online jackpot betting services were games of chance. The Act therefore prohibits them.

“These included the Mon & Wed Jackpot, Tue Jackpot, Thu Jackpot, US Millions, and US Power jackpot betting services.”

It did note that the Daily Millions offered by Lottoland did not breach the law.

According to Section 5, prohibited interactive gambling services are gambling service which are provided as a business. Some examples given are online casino-style games, online slot machines, and online wagering services that accept in-play bets on sports events.

Lottoland acknowledged that the latest Interactive Gambling Act 2001 reforms prohibited its traditional international lottery betting services. That is why it switched to the jackpot betting format. The new laws that went into effect in January 2019 prohibited Australians from betting on the outcome of any lotteries without buying an actual ticket to that draw. Either local or international.

Awaiting Word from the Court

The New South Wales Supreme Court has yet to acknowledge if it will hear the Lottoland lawsuit and rule on the matter. However, a high court definitive ruling now appears necessary in order to resolve the ongoing battle.