Coalition Government backs Small Business, Pubs and Clubs

27 March 2018

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie says today’s announcement by the Federal Coalition Government to ban online betting on lotteries and keno will ensure local businesses, pubs and clubs continue to maintain their the long-standing community role as official lottery and keno agents.

“Our Government has formed the view that permitting betting on these services, also known as ‘synthetic’ lotteries, undermines these traditional agencies and we would like them to continue the role they play in our community,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Lotteries and Keno have existed for many years generating an important income stream not only for local small businesses, through licence fees and taxation, but also the provision of local services and infrastructure by the states and territories.

Dr Gillespie said 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.

“We believe that lottery and keno products benefit the community and our new legislation will ensure they continue to be by taking strong action to support local small businesses and community clubs,” Dr Gillespie said.

Dr Gillespie said there had been considerable concern in the community about online services offering lottery products.

“These online products are relatively new. Since concerns were first raised last year, the Government has listened carefully to a range of groups that have concerns about permitting betting on these products,” Dr Gillespie said.

“We are taking a common sense approach on this issue, recognising that many Australians enjoy lotteries and keno as a recreational activity, and we want to ensure 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.

ENDS

Photo: Discussing the legislation with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield at Parliament House, Canberra

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