by Andy Young

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s approval of laws which will prohibit gambling on the outcome of lotteries and Keno, by online companies such as Lottoland.

The recent passing of the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Lottery Betting) Bill 2018 was supported by all sides of the House and AHA National CEO, Stephen Ferguson, praised all sides of Government for the move, which the association has been lobbying for.

“Along with the Newsagents Association, Clubs and Tabcorp, the AHA has lobbied vigorously to have parasite gambling products such as Lottoland and Kenoland banned,” Ferguson told TheShout.

“Kenoland and Lottoland are a multinational foreign owned gambling operator hiding in the gambling haven of Gibraltar that pay zero gambling tax in Australia. Kenoland encouraged Australians to gamble on line 24 hours a day with zero consumer and harm minimisation protections.”

Ferguson also said: “Kenoland diverted revenue from Australian hotels and state and territory governments used to support their communities.

“In comparison, the Keno offered in Australian hotels pay taxes in Australian States and Territories, is wholly owned and regulated within Australia, is offered only within a supervised retail environment and helps hotels support over 50,000 community groups at the grass roots level

“The Bill was supported 75 to 1 in the Senate and we thank all sides of government for supporting Australian hotels.”

Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield said the Government was committed to ensuring gambling takes place under a robust legislative framework with strong consumer protections and within the boundaries of community standards.

“This legislation will also protect the more than 4,000 small businesses including newsagents, pharmacies and community clubs and pubs across the country who operate long-standing, recreational betting services,” he said.

The amendments stipulate online bets will not be able to be accepted on the outcome, or any aspect, of a lottery or keno draw after a six month transition period.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will enforce compliance, respond to any complaints and take stronger action against the provision of illegal online gambling services to Australians.