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Aus newsagents brand Lottoland’s olive branch ‘as dodgy as its pretend lottery offer’

| By Joanne Christie

The war of words between Lottoland and Australia’s newsagents shows no signs of abating despite the secondary lottery operator outlining a detailed partnership proposal today.

Lottoland Australia has proposed a tie-up between itself and agents whereby its customers would nominate their local agent and that agent would receive 10% of every bet the customer placed on the site.

In return, it wants agents to advertise Lottoland in-store, with the proviso all advertising will be limited to international lotteries such as the US Powerball which helped the operator quickly gain traction Down Under.

Luke Brill, Lottoland CEO, said: “Lottoland has listened to Australian newsagents and this model is recognition that we need to work together. Newsagents will always have a longstanding cultural link to lotteries, but as it stands there is no infrastructure for them to take advantage of overseas lotteries and online betting. This needs to change.

“Every bet on an overseas lottery is incremental revenue, part of which can now flow fairly to newsagents. This model complements in-store lottery purchases and opens a channel for these businesses to benefit from the emerging pool of ‘online only’ punters.”

Brill said he had met with Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ANLA) chief executive Adam Joy on Monday to “float the deal” and looked forward to working closely with newsagents in future.

However, it would appear this meeting was not perhaps the success he had hoped as the ANLA put out a scathing response to its offer today in a release titled “Lottoland’s latest offer to newsagents as dodgy as its pretend lottery offer”.

As we reported in an analysis piece yesterday, there has been some disagreement over both the impetus for and the content of the meetings that have taken place between Lottoland and the ANLA in the past.

Today, Joy said: “Lottoland have spent 18 months denigrating newsagents, and a partnership requires trust and usually does not involve a party that is aggressively trying to detract from the other party's livelihood. They have repeatedly said that they are not targeting the customers of newsagents, yet this idea does exactly that.

“The bookmaker uses concerning tactics to attempt to hijack customers from news and lottery agents, and its marketing is positioned around newsagents and leverages the branding and IP of official lotteries. And now this latest idea proves that they are in fact targeting newsagents’ customers.”

Lottoland has come under heavy criticism in Australia recently with several states announcing proposals to ban the site, as South Australia has already done.

Last month Tatts, which operates state lotteries in all of Australia’s states apart from Western Australia, rolled out a campaign called ‘Lottoland’s Gotta Go’ in newsagents across the country.

Joy said today’s offer is simply a response to the recent criticism: “It would appear that Lottoland’s recent offerings are really desperate token gestures and a PR stunt, rather than a solution to a problem that not only affects news and lottery agents, but also affects consumers who are misled, and communities that lose out on state revenue tax that helps fund roads, schools, hospitals, charities and more.”

The ANLA statement said that it had sought feedback from newsagents on the idea and that so far it showed agents did not consider it a “genuine or helpful idea”, with some considering it “insult added to the injuries already caused by Lottoland”.

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Lottoland vs. monopolies: pioneer vs. lazy incumbents or parasites vs. funding good causes? (paywall)
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