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Lottoland launches new product, gets new investigations

Lottoland, the Australian digital lottery operator, just can’t seem to catch a break in the Land Down Under.

Ever since a bruising legal battle halted Lottoland from offering wagering on Aussie lotteries, the company has tweaked its business model to emphasize wagering on financial markets instead. That tweak has spawned not one, but three separate investigations from Australian regulators of all stripes.

Lottoland’s latest round of troubles comes from their “jackpot betting” products. These games use the final numbers from world financial markets to determine a series of numbers that are used as a lottery draw. For example, the final number from the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange would be used.
Now both the Australian Communications and Media Authority are investigating whether jackpot betting is a violation of Lottoland’s orders to steer clear of lotteries. Licensing NT (Northern Territory) has also launched an investigation as to whether the new game could somehow be construed as offering financial advice (though this allegation seems to stretch basic logic nearly to the breaking point).
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, a spokesman for Communications Minister Mitch Fifield revealed the true impetus for the investigations, protecting the Aussie lottery when he said, “The government recognises the importance of traditional official lottery and keno services to Australian small businesses who offer these services.”
Lottoland chief executive Luke Brill defended his company and its products in the same article pointing out, “…our new products are based on Australian and international stock market indices, which are a declared betting event under NT law. Lottoland has included on its website a page that describes what jackpot betting is … we believe our customers know and understand that our new products are not bets on international lotteries.”