WA to impose fine on punters using synthetic lotteries

The Western Australia (WA) government is furthering the federal government clampdown on synthetic lotteries by including provisions that would fine punters for engaging in lotteries other than its own, local media reports.

A nationwide ban on synthetic lotteries is set to come into force in 2019, which will prohibit sites that accept bets on lottery outcomes without requiring punters to buy a ticket in the draw, and imposing hefty fines on those that breach the rules.

However, the WA government said that its laws will go further, imposing an A$2,500 (US$1,812) fine to punters using synthetic lotteries.

Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said the laws would protest WA’s Lotterywest, giving the Gaming and Wagering Commission powers to wipe out competitors without needing to pass additional legislation.

“It gives the Wagering Commission in the future the power to act in the event of some other unforeseen disruptive betting process coming onto the market, they can just outlaw it immediately,” he said, quoted by ABC Radio Perth.  

Lotterywest ticket sales were down $35 million in 2017-18 compared to 2015-16.

“There is a world of disruption out there but I think it is the role of government to make things as fair as possible for the vast majority of the community,” he added.

Lottoland, one of the leading synthetic lottery operators, said it has not yet given up on the Australian market.

“We’re not about to sort of break the law,” said CEO Luke Brill to ABC Radio Perth.

“We’ll just continue to look at how we can innovate and change our business model to ensure we’re fully compliant.”