Lotteries are a powerful traffic driver in news agencies and the strength of the lottery channel is inexorably linked with the success of many newsagencies.

 

Newsagents remain the preferred outlet for lottery sales but it is expected that more Lottery options will become available an the Internet and mobile devices. However, the issue of age restrictions for gambling and responsible gambling issues may affect any trend toward electronic soft gambling.

 

In the past five years we have seen the sale of NSW Lotteries; the deregulation of the market in Victoria and the introduction of a new player, IntraLot; and the start of deregulation in South Australia.

 

As state governments look for revenue through selling assets, and lottery organisations examine how to compete in an internet-focused world there are many changes in store for the lottery channel. 
 

As South Australia looks at deregulation, the Chief Executive of SA Lotteries, June Roache, said that SA Lotteries values its network of agents and continues to invest in its network to implement measures across the retail networks to enhance the play experience for South Australians. The ANF is working to ensure the newsagency channel is not disadvantaged by any deregulation. 

 

Tattersalls now controls lottery operations in Victoria, Queensland and NSW and believes economies of scale can be gained in order to compete with international operators offering gambling online.

 

Lotterywest has introduced Play Online in Western Australia to ensure the proceeds from the sales of online lottery games remain in Western Australia for the benefit of bloat community groups. With the growth of online sales channels for all kinds of goods and services. it is clear that customers expect an internet option as well as traditional retail outlets. 
 

Lotterywest reports that in the 2010/2011 financial year, sales from the online channel were less than 0.4% of total sales with little, if any, evidence of any impact on the retail channel.

 

Bill Thorburn from Tattersalls recognises the criticaL role of the retail distribution network that includes 4000 distribution points. 'We also recognise the need to adapt our retail management structures to support what is now one of Australia's largest franchise/agency networks. This extensive network comprises a majority of newsagents but also a range of other small retail businesses." Thorburn said.
 

'Clearly the newsagency industry faces many challenges and will need to evolve and respond to changing retail environments and customer preferences in order to survive and prosper. Tatts Lotteries will need to do the same to ensure our products remain easily accessible to players from a strongly performing retail network, but in doing so will of course recognise the depth of our partnership and the long and successful relationship between Lottery products and news agencies."

 

FUTURE OF INTERNET GAMBLING

 

With almost universal access to computers, smartphones and other connected devices, the rternet has made gambling ,accessible to millions of Australians. It has vastly changed the way in which many Australians gamble because it promotes private, immediate, individual. and 24-hour access to a full range of gambling in every home, office and school/college/university.

 

Since 1999, internet gambling has grown exponentially as a direct result of technological advances and increasing accessibility. In 1998, there were only about 50 gambling websiles. In 2002, a Bear Stearns report found about 1800 gambling sites. In 2011, the Southern Cross University's Centre for Gambling Education & Research LCGERI reported approximateLy 2319 online gambling sites are now operational.

 

USA Today and CGER estimated that global gambling revenues grew from US$2.2 billion to US$28 billion in 2010. Global Betting & Gaming Consultants 03133C] reports that the online gambling market was worth US$29.3 billion in 2010, representing a 12% increase from 2009.
 

White the current Interactive Gambling Act 2001 IIGAI legislation makes it an offence to provide certain interactive gambling services to customers physically located in Australia, with maximum penalties ranging from $220,000 per day for individuals and $1.1 million per day for corporations, regulatory enforcement and the imposition such penalties, especially on offshore and foreign owned interactive gambling services providers, prove difficult.
 

By way of example, during the 2010/2011 financial year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority IACMAI completed 48 investigations. Of these investigations, 38 involved overseas-hosted prohibited internet gambling content and the URLs were notified to the Australian Federal Police (AFPI, while seven involved overseas-hosted content that was found not to be in breach the IGA and were not referred on. Three investigations were terminated due to insufficient information. During the same period, the ACMA referred one Australian hosted site to the AFP for action. This contrasts to the 2319 online gambling sites that are deemed to exist.

 

It is important to note that the IGA does not make it an offence for Australians to access and use prohibited interactive gambling services. Also, the IGA does not prohibit Australian-based businesses from providing prohibited services to customers in other countries (although it has the capacity to do so with the IGA making it an offence to provide Australian-based interactive gambling services to customers in countries which the Minister has declared 'designated countries'.

 

The majority of internet gambling operations are located offshore. This makes regulatory enforcement significantly challenging. And with the ever-increasing skills of data encryption, virtual private networks, tunnelling and portals, identity thefts and electronic commerce, their ability to conceal these Internet gambling operations, and their own and their customers' identities all enhance their exponential growth.

 

All that said, it is estimated that Australians spent AUD$968 million on offshore casino, poker and bingo sites in 2010, of which a third of this (ie: AUD$323 million) was spent on poker sites.


AUD$611 million was spent on online sports betting in 2011, representing an increase of 230% since 2005.

 

In New South Wales, a moratorium is in place until 2014 when it will be reviewed] for lottery products to be sold through newsagents and lottery agents. Should lottery products be permitted to be sold through the internet to NSW-Lased citizens, such sales would heir conflict with that moratorium. 


It must he considered that internet gambling poses a direct threat to existing terrestrial products and equivatents and their sates channels which include newsagents and lottery agents. Internet gambling can have the effect of cannibalising existing terrestrial Australian businesses. 


And given that most, if not all, Australian Lottery products are the property of their respective Australian State Governments, and are sold to customers under legal licence by those State Governments, there therefore exists a potential risk of Internet gambling harming those government licences in terms of branding, commercial, revenue and longevity.

 

NANA continues to be cautious about the broader implications of wholesale acceptance of Internet gambling without taking into account the Australian and global experiences to date and the strengths and weaknesses of the existing Australian national and states' legislative and regulatory framework.

 

Lotteries are the number one purchase for 30% of consumers visiting a newsagency. [HIM Research 2009]

 

With almost universal access to computers, smartphones and other connected devices, the rternet has made gambling ,accessible to millions of Australians. It has vastly changed the way in which many Australians gamble because it promotes private, immediate, individual. and 24-hour access to a full range of gambling in every home, office and school/college/university.

 

Since 1999, internet gambling has grown exponentially as a direct result of technological advances and increasing accessibility. In 1998, there were only about 50 gambling websiles. In 2002, a Bear Stearns report found about 1800 gambling sites. In 2011, the Southern Cross University's Centre for Gambling Education & Research LCGERI reported approximateLy 2319 online gambling sites are now operational.

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