Betting company Lottoland says proposed changes to the Northern Territory’s Racing and Betting Act will destroy its business model in the Territory, and is taking the Government and Minister for Racing to court to try and block the changes.
- Lottoland has sought an injunction in the Supreme Court to proposed changes to the NT’s Betting Act
- The gambling company says the changes would destroy its business model in the Territory
- The NT Government has declined to provide detail on what the proposed changes are
In an Originating Motion filed in the Supreme Court, Lottoland said the Government had sought to change Section 92 of the act, which relates to licensing conditions.
Lottoland holds its Australian licence in the Northern Territory.
The NT Government declined to provide the ABC with details of the planned changes to the Racing and Betting Act.
But the ABC understands the changed licence conditions would mean people could no longer bet on international markets, one of Lottoland’s products.
In court, Lottoland’s lawyer, Sebastian Hartford Davis, said changes to licensing conditions would “destroy” the company’s business model in the NT.
“These changes to the conditions to licences as set out in the act, though applied to all bookmakers in the NT, would only negatively affect Lottoland,” Mr Davis said.
“This would destroy our business model here and seriously disrupt the plaintiff’s relationship with customers,” he said.
The NT Government had hoped to amend the act by the end of October, but Lottoland has sought an injunction on the changes subject to the outcome of court proceedings.
Lawyers for the NT Government told the court an injunction would be unreasonable because changing the licensing conditions was in the public interest.
But when asked, a spokesperson for the NT Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing, Natasha Fyles, declined to say what aspect of the case was in the public interest.
“As the matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time,” the spokesperson said.
Lottoland has been the subject of a number of legal complaints in the NT alleging deceptive conduct involving jackpot competitions mistaken as Powerball draws.
Those matters were rejected in favour of Lottoland by the NT Racing Commission, which found Lottoland had no case to answer.
The peak body representing Australian lottery companies, Lottoland’s competitors, has in the past expressed concerns over the company’s business model.
The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association has criticised Lottoland for having “lotto” in its name when it is not a lottery.
The NT Racing Commission first wrote to Lottoland to alert them of the proposed change in December last year.
The changes to the act are now on hold until the matter is resolved in court.
The Supreme Court will rule on the injunction this week, before it goes to a hearing in November.