Lotteries in Australia are not as prevalent as they are in countries like the United States or regions like Europe. But there is a public demand for lottery action. There is the Lott, which is operated by the Tatts Group, and Lotterywest for Western Australia, the only area excluded from the Lott. And then there is Lottoland.
The company actually operates out of Gibraltar, but services players via licenses in Australia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, the UK, and Gibraltar. It also offers online betting on 30 different lotteries around the world. These include EuroMillions, Powerball, and Mega Millions.
Is Lottoland Legal in Australia?
Players in Australia have been buying tickets on Lottoland for years. However, the Australian government gave serious thought to banning it in 2018. And they did ban all such synthetic lottery companies. The Interactive Gambling Act Amendment (Lottery Betting) Bill of 2018 prohibited Australians from betting on many internet games, such as with online poker operators based outside of the country and with overseas-based lottery draw companies. That included Lottoland.
The ban officially began on January 9, 2019.
However, Lottoland continued to operate by changing the types of offerings available to Australians. The company turned to jackpot betting for Aussies. This product offers them a chance to bet on select financial markets by matching numbers with various index numbers.
Numerous companies on said financial exchanges have filed formal complaints with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. And Lottoland began discussions with the former in February 2019 about the legality of jackpot betting. There have been no decisions since the talks began.
Meanwhile, Lottoland has other problems, such as having had to defend its decisions in past years about lottery payouts in court. In many cases, however, Lottoland wins those disputes due to a comprehensive list of terms and conditions on its website.
Let’s look at two cases decided and made public recently. The identities of the complainants, however, remain under seal.
The Case of the Sri Lankan Man and $201 Million
It started in April 2018 when a man living in Perth placed three bets on Lottoland, costing him a total of $50. Two of the bets missed. The other was voided; this is due to the man being a citizen of Sri Lanka, despite living in Perth.
The Sri Lankan national did not disclose this information. Nor did he comply with the terms and conditions of Lottoland, which state that Sri Lanka is on its list of excluded countries. Instead, he registered on Lottoland as an Aussie, as advised by a Lottoland employee.
The man then had his $50 refunded; after being informed that his bet was voided and account closed. Nevertheless, he filed a complaint with the Northern Territory Racing Commission. He wanted $201 million, the amount he hoped to win with the voided ticket. The man also wanted Lottoland to pay a fine of $700 million for its actions against him.
But the Northern Territory Racing Commission ruled that the man was in breach of Lottoland’s terms. After all, he registered the account despite his home country being on the excluded list. Therefore, his bet would not have been payable; even if it was allowed to play and it did win.
The Case of the Aussie Man and $50 Million
This situation happened on October 14, 2017. The man called Mr G in the case placed a bet via Lottoland Australia at 11:27am AWST. Although he knew it was late, he claims that the company accepted the bet for the US-based Mega Millions.
However, Lottoland said his bet was placed 27 minutes late, as the wrong conversion time for US to Australia appeared on the website. And further, there was an additional one-hour cut-off. Therefore, the bet was actually one hour and 27 minutes late. Lottoland applied the bet to the next draw, though Mr G claimed he never received the message.
Mr G claimed he picked all of the correct numbers and should have been entitled to a share of the $50 million that was awarded. He filed a complaint with the Northern Territory Racing Commission.
Per the terms and conditions made available on the Lottoland website, the Commission found that they do prevail. It was the customer’s responsibility to read and understand them. Further, Lottoland correctly notified him within 60 seconds of the completed transaction. Thus, his claim to winnings was not justified.
Lottoland was found to be correct in its automated move to push Mr G’s bet to the proper draw, as well as reject his claim to a part of the $50 million US Mega Millions jackpot.