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Australia in Political War over Online Gambling Operator Lottoland

The Australian Northern Territory Labor Government, led by Chief Minister Michael Gunner, revealed that his cabinet is to refrain from supporting Gibraltar-based lottery gambling provider Lottoland, which has suffered a lot of criticism for quite a long time now. In that way, the top politician aims to quench the political fire over offshore online gambling operators and steer clear of scandals.

The reason for the hot political environment is the opposing opinions of the different local governments in Australia. The government of Western Australia has already started working on a new package of legislation, aiming to restrict Lottoland from operating within the Australian borders. Other Australian territories are also on the brink of restricting Lottoland. The Northern Territory, on the other hand, seemed to oppose the overall tendency as it issued the license, under which Lottoland is operating.

This Wednesday, NT News reported that federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield asked Territory Government’s gambling regulator to motivate its reasons for giving a license to the offshore gambling company Lottoland. Attorney-General Natasha Fyles was reluctant to answer if the Gunner Government supported Lottoland for obtaining a license. Ms. Fyles only pointed out that it is the former Country Liberal Party (CLP), which gave a nod to Lottoland’s license. She added that the Northern Territory (NT) Labor Government is trying to improve its legal framework regarding sports betting and the cabinet is to pay special attention to Fifield’s written announcement.

Former NT CLP Chief Minister Paul Everingham responded to Ms. Fyles comment, saying that the government, which approved Lottoland’s license is stealing from its own people. It was reported that the offshore gambling company damaged the state-owned lottery operator Lotterywest as the company witnessed a steep revenue decline of 7%. Mr. Everingham added that Lottoland’s presence on the Australian gambling market is of no use to the country’s well-being, as it is an offshore operator, which means that it targets Australian players, without paying taxes to the country. In that sense, Australia experience a serious drain of money, instead of keeping the revenues at home. The former top official urged the other states’ officials and the Federal Government to convince the NT Government to tighten restrictions on the offshore operator.

Australia Takes Actions against Lottoland

South Australia already banned Lottoland to target the locals and the state of Victoria is currently discussing to follow its predecessor’s blueprints. Recently, it became clear that Western Australia is also planning to amend its gambling law and crackdown on offshore operators, including Lottoland. The Gibraltar-based gambling operator was said to be the reason for the the local small- and medium-sized business collapse. The ban on Lottoland is in response to Lotterywest’s financial report, which presented a dramatic slide in the state-run lottery’s profitability. Moreover, Lottoland was accused of providing confusing information regarding its gambling offerings and misleading its players.