‘Fake lotto’ finally banned in Australia

FOREIGN lottery betting websites such as the contentious Lottoland will be banned under a new gambling crackdown by the Turnbull Government.

Australia will become the latest country to ban the "fake lotto" companies who have been blamed for a dramatic fall in government revenue by taking bets on state-sanctioned lottery draws.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will introduce legislation tomorrow to ban betting on all foreign lotteries and keno games which follows a domestic ban late last year.

Lottoland has been at the centre of a 12-month fierce political campaign, spearheaded by local newsagents and Tatts Group.

All state governments - including Victoria - have moved to ban Lottoland operating in their states but had lobbied the federal government for wide-reaching laws that could not be challenged through the courts.

The Gibraltar-based Lottoland has faced been banned in a number of European countries.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson has been a fierce critic of Lottoland, claiming it did not pay tax.

Senator Fifield said the Government had formed the view that permitting betting on these services undermines the longstanding community acceptance of official lottery and keno products.

He said traditional lotteries and keno games were popular and longstanding recreational gambling products that form an important income stream for thousands of small businesses across Australia, including newsagents, pharmacies, pubs and community clubs.

"They also generate significant taxation revenue for state and territory governments, helping to fund schools, hospitals, public transport and roads," Senator Fifield said.

He said the ban will come into force six months after passage through the Parliament to ensure that businesses currently offering online betting on lotteries and keno have an appropriate transition period within which to cease their activity.

Senator Fifield said inline services offering products that involve betting on lottery outcomes are relatively new and had generated "considerable" community concern.

"Since these concerns were first raised last year, the Government has listened carefully to a range of groups that have views on the undesirability of permitting betting on these products," he said.