Australian newspaper vendors have been waging war against online lottery betting operators like Lottoland for several years and are, seemingly, close to vanquishing their foes with government sponsored ban on digital lotteries. During this battle the news vendors have positioned themselves as small, local businesses who are under assault from predatory gaming companies hell bent on disrupted the established order.
So far, their gambit has worked, but is it really representing the will of the Australian people? Recently a wellspring of support for Lottoland, and digital lotteries as a whole, has emerged in the form of a petition asking the Australian government to put the brakes on the proposed ban and let Lottoland live. In just three weeks, the petition has already garnered more than 15,000 signatures.
Lottoland Australia chief executive Luke Brill told Asian Gaming Brief that organic effort is proof that TabCorp, the current Australian lottery operator, isn’t quite as popular (or populist) as they would have you believe saying:
he public response to this petition has been staggering and sends a clear message to the Government that the community does not support a ban on overseas lottery betting…To put this in perspective, it took three weeks less to receive a thousand more signatures than the ‘Lottoland’s Gotta Go!’ campaign, which was driven by a $5 million national smear campaign by Tabcorp-Tatts to con MPs into handing them an indefinite monopoly.
This petition is unlikely to change the minds of any of the 7,000 Austrlian newsagents who say that digital lotteries are eating into their business and endangering the livelihoods of small business operators. And whether it’s enough to stop legislation banning digital lotteries all together remains another question entirely.