April 05, 2018

Lottoland sings swan song, but Aussie newsagents aren’t buying it

Online gambling company Lottoland has finally begun singing its swan song, in an attempt to pull at the heartstrings of newsagents before it’s evicted from Australia.

On Thursday, Lottoland has published a full-page newspaper advertisement appealing to newsagents to come to the table and discuss a win-win solution for both parties in the wake of the Australian government’s decision to ban online betting on lotteries and keno.

The ad comes as a letter addressed to newsagents penned by no less than Lottoland CEO Luke Brill, who offered them 20 percent of the profits generated from every bet they refer to the online gambling firm. Newsagents may earn thousands of additional dollars from the proposal, according Brill.

At the same time, Brill said newsagents that took part in the program would have an opportunity to benefit financially from Lottoland bets on overseas lotteries.

“The reality is that the proposed legislation could make life even more difficult for newsagents while reducing choice for hundreds of thousands of customers,” Brill said in a statement. “We want to partner with newsagents to provide our customers with greater choice, in a way that will be fair and profitable for your business.”

Brill then took aim at rival Tatts Group, which it accused of bankrolling local lotteries in their fight against Lottoland.

The Lottoland boss claimed that Tatts is cementing its monopoly in Australia, to the detriment of both the newsagents and players. Their continued operations in Australia encourages both competition and innovation, according to Brill.

If there’s one threat to newsagents’ survival, Brill said that it is no other than Tatts.

“We believe in a level-playing field that encourages rather than restricts competition and innovation. That’s why we want to work with you as a true business partner,” he said.

However, Lottoland’s last-ditch appeal has fallen on Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association’s (ALNA) deaf ears.

In a statement, ALNA CEO Adam Joy said newsagents will never align themselves with a business that lacks consumer protections and doesn’t deliver what it promotes. Joy also dismissed Lottoland’s latest ad to be a desperate PR maneuver.

“Lottoland have spent years denigrating newsagents, and a partnership requires trust. They have repeatedly said that they are not targeting the customers of newsagents, yet this idea along with its entire business model does exactly that,” Joy said.

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