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Monday, 21 May 2018
Page: 3849

Gambling

Dear Mrs Wicks

Thank you for your letters of 5 December 2017 and 6 February 2018 about petitions requesting for the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) to be amended to prohibit the betting on the outcome of a lottery draw (`lottery betting').

Twelve petitions were received in the first referral (PN0158-0160, PN0180-0182, and PN0184- 0189) and 43 petitions were received in the second referral (PN0183, PN0195-0199, PN0203, PN0208-0209, PN0211, PN0215-0220, PN0223-0226, PN0231-0236, PN0238, PN0240-0242, PN0244-0247, PN0254, PN0264-0267, PN0269-0270, and PN0272-0273).

I note that the petitions raise concerns regarding the impacts of lottery betting products on small business and their minimal contribution to State and Territory tax revenue.

As the majority of lottery betting providers are licensed and regulated by the Northern Territory (NT) Government, on 18 September 2017 I wrote to the Hon Natasha Fyles MLA, the NT minister with portfolio responsibility for gambling, seeking a response to the concerns that have been raised by stakeholders in relation to lottery betting.

On 14 November 2017, Ms Fyles responded to my correspondence noting that on

7 November 2017, pursuant to section 19 of the Racing and Betting Act (NT), she had directed the Northern Territory Racing Commission to revoke its approval of Australian-based lotteries as an approved sporting event as defined under the Act.

The prohibition took effect on 30 November 2017 and as such, operators licensed in the NT are prohibited from offering betting services on the outcome of Australian-based lotteries.

The Government is continuing to closely examine the matter and considering whether Commonwealth intervention is required. Any policy decision on lottery betting will consider the impact on Australian small businesses and other stakeholders.

Thank you for bringing these petitions to my attention. I trust this information will be of assistance.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield