Lottoland lottery – betting website definitively banned from Australia

Upon the newest set of regulations implemented by the Australian government, it seems like numerous “synthetic” lotteries have had to suffer, the latest example being Lottoland, whose betting website has been recently banned.  This has come as great news for the biggest player in the local gambling scene, Tabcorp gaining a leaping advantage over its competitors.

All websites operating online bets without demanding from gamblers the actual purchase of a lottery ticket will not be able to access the Australian gambling scene, once the landmark law approved by the parliament comes into operation starting from 1th of January 2019. Lottery providers that offered traditional gambling opportunities, such as the one mentioned above, have been under threat since the rise of synthetic lottery sites, so this news comes as a huge victory.

The revenues pubs, clubs and lottery agents used to generate have been put at risk due to the emerging number of online betting sites, the problem that has come to the attention of the Labour and government, which have unified forces to implement the new laws. The potential issue of people no longer being attracted to traditional lotteries has thus been lifted.

Lottoland has been providing punters with the possibility of betting on the results of some of the largest gambling draws available, a few examples being EuroJackpot, US PowerBall, and MegaMillions, the factor that has, of course, contributed to its increasing success within Australian borders. With somewhere around 280 employees in more than 30 countries across the globe, Lottoland has been targeting the Australian gambling scene for a while now, marketing through TV ad campaigns.

Despite the passing of this new law, it seems like those in charge of this betting website have something to say against the regulations that are supposed to come into force. Luke Brill, known as chief executive of Lottoland, continues to claim that their brand is “here to stay”. He also stated that their website has benefited from over 700,000 registrations from Australian gamblers since they first entered the local industry two years ago, and they will fight on continuing to provide options to their clients. As per his statement, Brill believes the government has made a mistake, which will negatively affect not only betters but the industry’s overall level of innovation and competition. Punters, however, were not given information on how Lottoland plans on keeping operations going, the only clue Brill having mentioned being linked to a potential litigation against bans that could be considered unconstitutional. It’s still uncertain whether the company will actually pursue a High Court challenge or not.

Opinions seem to be divided across lottery businesses, some newsagents claiming that the implemented restrictions will only decrease lottery competition, after the ban of Lottoland, which will only affect small businesses further. Mitch Fifield – Australia’s Communications Minister – however, advocates the ban, saying that this is a way of keeping up with the community’s standards, protect traditional betting services and consumer rights. It remains to be seen if any further legislative changes will occur.

New gambling and integrity panel is launched in Australia

Australians will have the possibility to enjoy a new panel called the gambling and integrity panel. The Esports Games Association Australia is the one who has the initiative to create it, and now it is close to its launching date. The esports market is similar to the classic sports one, gambling providers are the ones who influence both of them. Stakeholders considered this concerning and after multiple notifications, the EGAA decided to take measures to assure people that integrity is a priority, even in esports. Considering that the Internet is full of threats, there is no surprise that there were identified factors that may have a negative impact on integrity. In order to prevent harm from being done, the majority of tournaments and leagues have shared their enactment with the actions they will take to fight risks. The purpose of this initiative is to organize competitions that are based on integrity.

Julian Hoskins gambling law expert and Iain Roy, sports integrity specialist will be the ones who will direct the new panel. Iain Roy was a Senior Legal Counsel and founding Head of Integrity at Cricket Australia, and Julian Hoskins is a specialist in offering legal services, being the Principal of the law company called Senet Legal, so they have the needed knowledge to become the leaders of this initiative.

The Esports Games Association Australia was the first to cheer the measures taken by leagues and tournaments, and they considered useful to create a panel to support these actions. The panel promoted by EGAA has the role to focus on the local interests and to offer pieces of advice on how integrity can be preserved. The panel will also provide an example of the approach that should be used from now on, to improve the effectiveness of esports competitions. EGAA lauds the efforts of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, when it comes to revolutionizing the gambling world, and making it more secure. They consider it a great example of leadership. Also, they recognize the merits of the Federal State and Territory Governments, because this organization has not backed down from offering their reinforcement for this initiative. Considering the efforts of these two organization, EGAA considers that they have the role to become a key partner in this initiative from now on.

What EGAA stands for?

EGAA is an esports association set in Australia. The main purpose of this organization is to bring together the professionalism and knowledge of numerous esports associations in order to improve the effectiveness of esports in both Australia and New Zealand. The Esports Game Association Australia collaborates with persons interested in the esports industry, from players to organizers and even sponsors to make more effective the esports business. The members of the organization will have the opportunity to take part in meetings, training and other events that will offer them the possibility to improve their education. Professional improvement is one of the main goals of the organization, and this is one of the main reasons they try to engage their members in as many events as possible. Alongside offering education opportunities, the EGAA will also offer guidance for the organization and league forms.

A boost in mobile betting has been reported in Australia

Online gambling seems to have taken an interesting turn in the country, as reported by the well-known market research enterprise – Roy Morgan. It seems like more Australians are using their mobile devices to make bets, while the overall number of gamblers is currently lower than it used to be back in the day. While the status of the local gambling environment is still being researched, there are a few easily noticeable facts that come to the public’s attention.

According to statistics that have been carried out recently by the same company, over the last year, a number of 3.4 Australian citizens have placed bets on either horse racing, sporting events, harness races or other similar options, a decrease of over 0,3 million being noticed since the year of 2012. While the reasons behind the decrease is yet to be clear, it has been concluded that punters have directed their focus towards the online gambling scene over the last few months. The same market research company is the one to reveal further that the number of Australian people placing a bet on the web has reached a 50 percent increase, meaning more than 34 percent of Australian gamblers are now replacing traditional betting with its digital alternative.

Behind the boost of online bets stands the increased popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices. While in 2012, as low as 5 percent of citizens used smartphones to gamble, now more than 22% of citizens resort to this convenient alternative. The number of locals who use their desktop computer or laptop, however, remains the same.

Roy Morgan states that mobile betting is the one that has actually triggered the overall boost in online gambling activities in Australia.

The country’s iGaming industry is now more consolidated than ever, but there are only two operators that are currently dominating the entire digital betting market. Sportsbet.com.au and Tabcorp Holdings are known to be the biggest players in the industry, the first choices of the majority of online gamblers. The first one is being used by somewhere around 12 percent of Australian gamblers, while the second has attracted more than 17 percent of locals who place bets online. There’s also a third gambling operator that has drawn the interest of 6.5% of Australians, known under the name of Crownbet. This site has recently been purchased by The Star Group, a famous Canadian gaming operator.

Michele Levine – chief executive officer – continues to add that the increase in online gambling influences positively the overall image of the local industry. The ease of betting via online sources as well as the few other changes that have been noticed over the last few years allows the strengthening of betting operations into a few essential players, as claimed by Roy Morgan’s CEO.

The merger ofTatts Group and Tabcorp, alongside with The Stars Group’s purchasing of Crownbet are some of the big changes that have occurred since 2017, contributing to the overall success of the Australian gambling market.

 

16 000 Australians signed a powerful petition on lottery betting gains

Since the Australian Government took the unpleasant decision of banning lottery betting, Australians got revolted and took the initiative by organizing a powerful petition signing event. Australians call out on the Government to leave the decision behind, as it has no utility whatsoever and it only keeps the citizens from doing what they want. Around 16 000 people signed the petition already, and the number is continuously growing. This public response was the appropriate reaction to what happened later, considering that the industry of lottery betting gained no less than 700 000 customers.

The whole purpose of the petition is to spare wagering on overseas lotteries. The Australian Government considers lotteries as synthetic, meaning that they represent a considerable threat to newsagents and other sorts of business, usually of small size. Lotteries and keno games attract thousands of customers each year and they expressed their opposing views on this topic by starting this petition. The legislation passed the parliament and is now active. Keno taxes reached almost $43 million, with a huge impact on the economy. Australians started signing off this petition at the end of April and the process is still undergoing.

The Lottoland Australia Chief Executive Luke Brill stated that he never expected such support from his customers, as this petition was even more popular than other campaigns he ran earlier this year. In response to the introduction of the IGA Amendment which had to do with the gambling legislation firstly published in 2001, people started the movement against the Government’s decision. Actually, Lottoland gained support from other sources as well, such as the Newsagents Association and ACT (NANA). It was a common opinion that the Government’s decision doesn’t suit anyone’s opinions and preferences. Powerful names such as Chris Samartzis and Ian Booth sustained Lottoland’s point of view on this topic.

In order to investigate the events further, Lottoland tried to accuse the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) of misleading the Government in making the decision, including the 700 000 customers. The allegation was immediately rejected by ALNA and no closure was involved. The Australians consumers do not agree with everything that’s been happening since March when the legislation was modified, and they are looking forward to attracting as many people as possible for signing the petition against the Government.

Also, it is worth mentioning that – through the Government’s decision – Tabcorp-Tatts is going to hold the monopoly on all lotteries. Tabcorp-Tatts is the rival of Lottoland and they invested around $4 million into their campaign, which turned out to be a national smear one. This investment launched Tabcorp-Tatts to monopoly. This is an unfortunate event for all consumers which perfectly backs up the motivation behind this petition. Brill carefully stated that the community supports neither Tabcorp-Tatts activity regarding the campaign they organized a while ago, nor the decision the Government took. The petition is supposed to balance down the situation and Australians are motivated to keep going with all sorts of measurements in order to figure things out.

Australasian Gaming Expo 2018 – purpose and hot topics covered

The Australasian Gaming Expo 2018 will be taking place between 14 – 16 August 2018 and it will gather for the 28th year in a row, leading enterprises in the industry. The Gaming Technology Association is once again the organizer, and the big event will take place at the International Convention Centre Sidney. For those that activate in the accommodation industry, but also casinos and clubs, attendance is a no-discussion topic.

With the main purpose to announce the latest innovations in the gaming industry, new networking opportunities and a launching opportunity for association developing the latest gaming technologies, the event is a true learning opportunity, featuring a series of seminars, during the three-day exhibition. Some new additions that caught everybody’s attention for this year’s line-up are the Networking Zone and the “First Timers” Program.

The Networking Zone is expected to be the heartbeat of the Expo, as it will allow businesses in the industry to get in touch with each other, bond collaboration relationships with fellow businesses that activate in the casino, club and accommodation industry, as Ross Ferrar, CEO of Gaming Technologies Association claims. The Networking Zone will have a specifically tailored a Networking Lounge, as a better context for these connections to take place and develop.

The First Timers Program will welcome those businesses that are new to this event, but also all the other new attendees. Those that will attend the First Timers Program will be presented the premises by a guide; they will be presented with some of the hottest areas of the expo and will also benefit from a dedicated networking event that will help newcomers get in touch with each other and get the most out of this event.

A hot topic that will be touched during the expo will be, just like last year, the importance of proper and meaningful education and professional development in the industry. During the entire event, the seminars will take place according to a schedule. Last year, only two of the three days included seminars, which brings a little extra for everybody that is attending the event in 2018.

With a big emphasis on emerging and disruptive technologies in the gaming, hospitality industry but also regarding the client and their needs in Australasia, this year’s program is expected to surpass everybody’s expectations in terms of meaningful and relevant information offered to businesses in all related industries. This is one of the main reasons the event’s organizers think that the impressive number of 6,000 attendees will be outnumbered this year. Also, the importance of the millennial generation and the disruptions brought in the industry are to be debated, besides the usual regulations, politics, and practices that are characteristic to the industry.

The whole event has a webpage dedicated to it, with plentiful information regarding the hot speakers, but also a detailed schedule of the whole event, including the seminars that are expected to take place during each day of the event.

 

New investments are planned for Queensland

Queensland is known for the initiatives they take in order to improve the economics of the territory. So there is no surprise that they decided to bring the world’s most well-known investors in casino industry to the region in an attempt to improve the state’s finances. The officials of the eastern Australian state decided to reach the representatives of the most noticeable casino brands from Macau and Las Vegas in order to understand how they can successfully invest in this domain. They know that the best strategy to attract casino operators to Australia is to travel to the City of Lights, meet with the casino companies and present them the benefits they will have if they will choose to invest in Queensland. Queensland will be represented by Kate Jones when the delegates will travel to Las Vegas and Macau. She is the Queensland Tourism Minister, so she is the right person to negotiate with casino operators.

During the official visit, Jones and her team plan to get in touch with representatives of companies as MGM Resorts International and Caesar Entertainment, because they want to collaborate with great brands in order to improve the effectiveness of the tourism strategies they are using at the present moment. They want to bring famous casino names to Queensland because in this way they will attract a higher number of tourists who will opt for longer vacations. If tourists stay longer then they will spend more money and they will facilitate job creation. This is an initiative that will increase the number of jobs for the locals so it is saluted by officials from all around Australia.

Jones stated that she got in touch with some of the world’s biggest brands, and they are willing to invest here, but before deciding what operators will establish their businesses here, the Minister has to make sure that they will choose the best opportunities for the locals. Nowadays the monopoly on casino operations in Australia is held by the Star Entertainment Group Limited. This company not only that owns but also operates some great hotels and casinos in Australia, The Star, in Sydney, The Star Gold coast, on the Gold coast and the Treasury Casino and Hotel in Brisbane.

The same group also operates the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition center on the side of Queensland officials. Alongside Star Entertainment Group Limited, the officials of Queensland plan to bring new names both in Cairns and on the Gold Coast. They have as main goal to bring to Australia operators that are able to provide integrated solutions. It is crucial for the economics of the region the casino resorts to also offer restaurants, hotels and entertainment spaces. It is important to say that Jones is not supported by all officials of the state, some politicians argue her choices. Some people consider that the trip Jones takes is not for official reasons but for personal ones, and she will only use the state’s funds to pay for her trip to Las Vegas. In order to defend herself, she told Nine Network that famous entertainment companies have contacted her because they want to invest in Queensland and she wants to make sure that the region will have only benefits if they choose to collaborate.

New social betting games introduced by SportsCaller and Sportsbet partnership

Free-to-play sports games grow in popularity, and two big players in the industry are ready to sign another partnership in this regard.

By prolonging the contract with Sportsbet, Sportscaller introduced to their clients a series of social betting games, games that are due to satisfy the client’s passion for two of the most loved sports across Australia: rugby and football. The localized titles will offer jackpots that pass AU$350,000 (US$263,480). Sportscaller claimed that these games are developed to help the company increase the acquisition and retention potential.

Initially, the two corporations had a deal to supply the Melbourne-based Sportsbet with a free game, based on the US National Basketball League, but due to the incredible success, it was shortly re-commissioned to develop games and titles based on the sports with a high attraction to the Australian public. The games will involve rules and regulations of the Australian rugby and football league. The goal of the two collaborators is to also increase betting rates amongst the Australian public. The games will be developed in such a fashion to be easy to integrate on bookmaker’s apps. This will provide the two companies an increased “organic cross-sale”.

Such additions in bookmarker’s app inventory are due to broaden the audience, increase betting and retention rates. As the games are developed based on some of the most popular national games, this perspective is an attainable and realistic one; both casual and dedicated betters responded positively to the first FTP game.

SportsCaller’s representative, Cillian Barry, claimed that the game developer’s database is a highly flexible and adaptable one, being one of the pioneers in the free-to-play jackpot game industry. The Managing Director also described the company’s decision as a “no-brainer”, is the only logical step that the company could take regarding the collaboration of the two. What may seem like an ambitious project, the decision was based on the incredible performance results that appeared as the first partnership between SportsCaller and Sportsbet ended. Higher retention rates, higher bets, these all were palpable results of the development and implementation of the first FTP game.

The prediction game industry is a flourishing one, and the NBA-based game developed by the experts at SportsCaller hooked the Australian public, as the games allow players to make live-bets, seamlessly integrated into the games. But the company’s visionary projects don’t end here. The developer also launched a series of World Cup prediction games that allow players to answer a series of betting-related questions and win prizes. Also, the bet prompts will allow players to convert that prizes into real money.

The final project aims to include all the games into a single Sportsbet app. This is expected to generate a higher revenue for both companies, as an increased number of options will encourage active betting, even from casual player’s side.

Should we expect even more similar collaborations? Most certainly, if the current partnership will deliver the expected results. Regardless, FTP games have an incredible potential, boosting bookmaker’s profits, as proven in this particular case.

Victorian budget 2018-2019: no mention of the point of consumption tax on betting

On Tuesday, May 1, the Victorian Government established the state’s budget for 2018-2019 but, in spite of rumours of a point of consumption tax being introduced for corporate bookmarkers, lawmakers did not include this topic on the agenda.

Lawmakers from several other Australian states declared that they would introduce a point of consumption tax in order to receive part of the income that remote gambling operators made on their territories. During last year’s talks, the Victorian Government expressed their intention of taking similar measures, but it seems that it will not happen too soon.

Due to lower taxes, the vast majority of Australian bookmakers are registered in the Northern Territory, but they operate across the entire continent. As a result, more state governments have decided to introduce a tax – the point of consumption tax – so that these betting houses had to pay a percentage of their profit to the states where they were servicing, even though they were licensed in another territory.

The tax value depends on local state policies. For example, in South Australia the point of consumption tax on betting is at 15%. As of 2019, Western Australia will implement the same tax. Other states, such as Queensland and New South Wales, have not included this in their budgets yet, but they have promised to do so and have published discussion papers in this regard.

Victorian lawmakers expressed their intentions of introducing the point of consumption tax of 8% in 2017, so many expected the announcement on Tuesday, but it seems that the tax will not come into effect in 2018 or 2019. According to State Treasurer Tim Pallas, lawmakers are still discussing the matter of the point of consumption tax and the public will receive more details on the matter in the upcoming months. Should the tax be introduced eventually, it could generate up to 150 million Australian dollars per year for Victoria.

The point of consumption tax not being mentioned in the budget announcement raised concerns regarding the aggressiveness of betting ad campaigns. A gambling ad ban is currently in place, as the federal government forbids bookmakers from advertising their services during live sports events between 5 am and 8:30 pm. This measure was taken to reduce the exposure of certain categories of the population (especially children or people with history of gambling addiction) to tempting ads and prevent them from gambling irresponsibly, but the lack of a concrete measure has people worried that betting operators will launch aggressive ad campaigns. According to the latest research, a typical Australian betting enthusiast loses around A$1,000 on gambling and there is a great deal of public concern on how much young people are exposed to misleading gambling ads. This is one of the reasons why in 2017 Victorian lawmakers banned gambling ads on public transport and near schools.

As other states implement point consumption taxes and Victoria delays taking measures in this regard, the territory will become more attractive to betting operators, who are likely to increase their activity in this sector. Considering that the Australian betting industry keeps on growing, lawmakers are under pressure to regulate their activity and provide a sustainable legal framework in the best interest of Australian bettors.

Daily fantasy sports come to Australia thanks to DraftKings

DraftKings mentioned that launching daily fantasy sports (DFS) to Australia could end up being more profitable than people expect. Bringing DFS to more markets is the company’s goal since forever. DFS wants to expand internationally and carefully assess what the results will be. The next location for the DFS opening in Australia. DraftKings announced that DFS got all of their legal licenses to launch the company here. The only region that is not included in what DraftKings planned is South Australia, which seems to have its own gaming regime. Yet DFS will reach around 20 million persons in Australia, which is quite impressive.

Fantasy sports sites such as Draftstars, PlayON and Moneyball also serve Australia in terms of DFS. This is why it was paramount for DraftKings to consult the Northern Territory Racing Commission for a permit. The NTRC mentioned that PlayOn and Moneyball are actually sports bookmakers. DraftKings focuses on paid-entry fantasy sports. Anyway, DraftKings decided not to officially announce the launch of DFS in Australia because the sport plans are not yet defined. DraftKings mentioned they will take into account cricket, rugby and Australian rules football. Australians are eager to play NBA and golf as well.

At this moment, DraftKings serves countries such as the UK, Germany, Austria, Malta, and Ireland. At first, DraftKings activated in different parts of the US only. They continue to expand to this day. The CEO of DraftKings, Jason Robins said that Australia is a promising country in terms of launching DFS there because of the high passion of the locals to get closer to such sports. This is why Australia represents one of the most important potential markets for DraftKings and it should not miss the chance of launching here. DraftKings has international expectations that they plan to transform into reality in the future years.

In the DFS industry, there are numerous other companies that can’t even think of launching internationally. For instance, FanDuel immediately pulled back from launching on a global level. They even stopped offering their services to the UK market. Yahoo DFS also decided that they should leave the UK. This means that the only competition that DraftKings will face is PlayON, although they offer niche products. DraftKings has the possibility to launch DFS freely, but it has to pay attention to multiple factors when doing it.

As in any other situation, there are several risks that DraftKings exposes itself to. The company will invest a lot of money in launching and expending it, without properly knowing if it is going to generate the expected profit. DraftKings might need to invest in strong marketing campaigns to gain customers, which is unlikely for the company. The company used to launch on new markets without working too hard on attracting users. This time, marketing campaigns are more like a necessity rather than an option. The addressable potential audience is promising, so – with the right strategy – DraftKings possesses all chances to rule the DFS industry on a global scale.

 

What do Australians excel at? Losing money when gambling

When visiting Australia one thing that will hit you in the face is that they have electronic gambling machines at every step. What effect does this have on people’s savings? Well, the majority of them are not able to save a single penny, because they lose around 24 billion Australian dollars annually. Australia has registered the greatest losses in the world when it comes to gambling.

Here there are numerous forms of gambling, people have access to pokies, casinos and multiple types of electronic gambling machines. The losses reported in Australia are the greatest in the world because they have these machines installed everywhere, not only inside casinos, like other states of the world have. Every hotel, restaurant, and pub has an area dedicated to gambling. What the majority of Australian citizens do not know is that the biggest brands in their country are also the greatest pokies operators. One example is Woolworths –  the most well-known supermarket chain of Australia, which also happens to be specialized in installing gambling machines around the country.

The main question people have in mind is Why does the state approve of pokies being installed everywhere? The answer is simple. A great part of the state’s revenue comes from gambling. If you check the studies you will notice that people are simply obsessed with gambling in Australia, and the less wealthy regions are the ones that spend the most on this pastime activity. Why does this happen? Because casinos have worked on their methods of reaching customers and maximising their income. They invest in exquisite venues, many of them offer free drinks and food to their clients and all of them hire only model-looking people as staff.

To see how big this phenomenon is, there are regions where people make reservations for certain machines in casinos because they consider that they win only if they use a particular one. This shows only one thing, for Australians, gambling is one of the activities they practice the most. Australians state that when they leave home, to go shopping for example, they do not intend to gamble, but they are attracted by the way the casinos and pokies areas are organized.

To show people what is really going on, Andrew Wilkie, an Australian politician, decided to publish documents that show how companies such as Woolworths manage to have so many gamblers. They collect information on their clients and they know when they are likely to spend more, what their favourite activities are, and even if they are married or not. In a state where there are tough regulations for cigarettes and guns, some might wonder why politicians do not confront this issue. There are voices that state that politicians are simply afraid to get involved into a public war with the gambling companies. Others consider that Australians have a blind spot for this activity, like Americans have for guns. Also, some believe that if gambling machines were heavily regulated, this would lead to great job losses, and this is one of the main reasons they prefer to not get involved in the process. What’s the truth? Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, to avoid such troubles, we recommend you to use online casinos, read reviews and forums carefully, as well as to look for trusted and reliable casino operators.