Campaign against synthetic lottery sites

Dubbo newsagents have joined a nation-wide campaign against synthetic lottery sites that are misleading consumers, the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) said.

The campaign was launched in September to urge governments to crack down on the so-called fake lotteries, and to inform consumers about the differences between real lotteries and fake ones.

The synthetic lotteries (also known as lotto bets) are online-only bookmakers and are different to official regulated lottery draws.

They do not offer tickets in a draw, rather they offer consumers the chance to bet on the outcomes of regulated lotteries.

The campaign is already celebrating a win, after the NSW government announced it was considering options to restrict the operation of synthetic lotteries.

“Synthetic lotteries do not have the same level of consumer protection as domestic lotteries,” Deputy Premier and Small Business Minister John Barilaro said.

“Our concern is that many customers buy tickets in a synthetic lottery, believing they’re entering a lottery, when in fact they are instead betting on the outcome of that lottery.

“A domestic lottery has a guaranteed prize pool, and is bound by strict terms and conditions and robust regulations.

“A synthetic lottery, on the other hand, is no more than online gambling.”

ALNA chief executive Adam Joy welcomed the NSW government’s announcement.

He said ALNA wanted to see wagering on the outcomes of lotteries banned.

“This decision is necessary to ensure that more than 1,300 news and lottery agents in NSW, along with their employees, can continue operating with certainty within the regulated framework of NSW Lotteries,” Mr Joy said.

“Online bookmaking sites that offer bets on lottery outcomes threaten the significant state tax revenue generated by lotteries, hurt small business, and in many cases are misleading to consumers.”

The tax revenue generated by real lotteries contributes about $250 million to the NSW economy each year while across Australia the regulated lotteries contributed about $1.3 billion in state lottery taxes in 2016.

“This also sends a clear message to any business that is deliberately or unintentionally misleading NSW consumers, that it won’t be tolerated or overlooked,” Mr Joy said.

“And we call on other state governments to do the same.”