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Turnbull Government to ban 'synthetic' lotteries and keno games

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Media contacts: Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 |

Authorised by Senator Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra

Turnbull Government to ban ‘synthetic’ lotteries and keno games

27 March 2018

The Turnbull Government will introduce legislation tomorrow to ban betting on lotteries and keno games.

The Government has formed the view that permitting betting on these services, also known as ‘synthetic’ lotteries, undermines the long-standing community acceptance of official lottery and keno products.

These products enjoy community support as they generate an income stream for small retail businesses and make a significant contribution, through licence fees and taxation, to the provision of public services and infrastructure by state and territory governments.

Traditional lotteries and keno games are popular and long-standing 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.

Online services offering products that involve betting on lottery outcomes are relatively new and have 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.

Many Australians enjoy lotteries and keno as a recreational activity, and the Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring that gambling takes place under a robust legislative framework with strong consumer protections and within the boundaries of community standards.

The legislation will commence operation six months after passage through the Parliament to ensure that those businesses currently offering online betting on lotteries and keno have an appropriate transition period within which to cease their activity.