Australia's NSW considers lottery betting restrictions

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) may follow Victoria in proposing a ban on lottery betting operators.

The state's Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro and Minister for Racing Paul Toole announced that the ruling government is considering options to restrict what they described as "synthetic lotteries".

They said that the products did not offer a sufficient level of consumer protection and may even mislead customers looking to buy a lottery ticket.

"A domestic lottery has a guaranteed prize pool, and is bound by strict terms and conditions and robust regulations," Barilaro said. "A synthetic lottery, on the other hand, is no more than online gambling.

"The NSW government is committed to standing up for local businesses and consumers and stemming the flow of lottery revenue out of the state."

In September New South Wales' neighbouring state Victoria pledged to put forward new legislation to ban or restrict companies that offer odds on lottery draws, with Lottoland the highest-profile company in the market.

Toole claimed that the offering was ultimately no more than an illegal betting site, especially as they may confuse consumers who think they are playing the state lottery.

"They are highly profitable online betting sites, often based overseas. Payment of winnings may rely on complex commercial arrangements between the operator and its insurer," he explained.

"The conduct of synthetic lottery operators may breach existing wagering legislation and the NSW government is currently considering options to restrict betting on these lotteries in NSW.

"Not all consumers who buy a ticket in the local lottery are happy to place bets through an online bookmaker based overseas, even if those bets are on the outcome of the same lottery," Toole added.

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