Queensland, the state of sunshine and surf, has officially declined the Australian governments bid to run a ‘UK- style’ sports lottery. The reason for the sports lottery bid was to improve financial backing for the underachieving national Olympic team.
The UK style lottery was put forward by national Sports Minister, Greg Hunt. He believes it would raise AU$50 million annually for sports-funding. In addition, it would be at the forefront of the revitalization of the National Olympic team. Thus, his intended plans were to take effect in 2018, just in time for Tokyo 2020, Summer Olympics. But, Queensland’s Sports Minister, Mick de Brenni, rejected the plan – stating that it was “short-sighted” and further argued there are too many lotteries in Australia already. Read about his reasons and views below.
Why is a ‘sports lottery plan’ short sighted?
During a meeting of Sports Ministers last week, de Brenni stated: “I think all states would agree that sport needs a significant injection of funding from the Commonwealth across all levels,”. However, he does not believe that the answer is a sports lottery because “lotto is already a crowded field in Australia”.
According to a spokesperson for Greg Hunt, Queensland is all set to announce the arrival of new pokie machines totalling 2500! Hunts spokesperson added that it was odd that the state would allow the introduction of these gambling game machines but not back “measures to improve sport funding as Great Britain and New Zealand have already done”.
Queensland ranks as the best performing sports state in Australia. Thus de Brenni has the final say in the rejection of the sports lottery.
Sports lottery success in the UK – not overnight
Introduced in 1994, the UK national lottery has been successful. However, it did not yield successful results from the get go. The introduction happened two years before the Olympics in Atlanta, where they endured the worst performance ever. Fast forward to Rio, 20 years later, and the team took second place on the medal table. In comparison, Rio was the Australians worse performance.