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Warning about unlicensed betting scheme – Lotto Spring

28 April 2016

IIt’s been advertised as a game ‘taking Australia by storm’ and claims to offer ‘seven ways to win’, but Consumer Protection is urging the community to exercise caution in relation to Lotto Spring / lottospring.com.

An advertisement for the scheme was published in The West Australian newspaper on the 20th of April 2016; bringing Lotto Spring to the attention of WA authorities. The scheme is also promoted online, including via a Facebook page specifically targeting Australians.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard says the scheme is not licensed in Australia, which represents potential issues for consumers here.

“Lotto Spring began in November 2015 and the website operator is offshore-based (British Virgin Islands and Curaçao). Importantly, subscribers are not entering a lottery. They are betting on the outcome of other lotteries, such as the EuroMillions draw. However, Lotto Spring does not have the required Australian licence for this sort of gambling,” he said.

“The community needs to be aware that with Lotto Spring you aren’t offered the same protection or guarantees of payouts as you are when playing with lawful Australian lotteries and there may be issues in relation to taxation as payouts will be coming from overseas.

“There is also a recruitment element that has resulted in the scheme being promoted in WA by a local participant. In exchange for referrals, players can receive a reduction or refund of their monthly entry fees or free tickets and they are also promised a share in any winnings of a referred person if they can recruit four people or more.”

The Acting Commissioner said that WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection has been contacted by at least one consumer who reported unauthorised deductions from her bank account. She struggled to resolve this because the organisation is overseas.

“The lady subscribed to Lotto Spring online. Subscriptions are either €33 or €66 a month but she was charged twice in a month, 10 days apart. One payment was $67 and the other was $78 and working on currency conversion rates neither of these matches up with a €33 or €66 charge. She has been advised to seek charge backs from her financial institution.”

Lotterywest echoed the warning and CEO Paul Andrew encouraged local lotto game players to make well-informed choices when entering into various services being offered.

“Some of the new ‘lotteries’ being offered are national or international ‘betting’ operations with little or no proceeds returned to the WA community,” Mr Andrew said.

“When playing Lotterywest Games consumers can be confident they have participated in a lottery conducted by an authorised government entity with integrity, which returns the proceeds of prize pools to winning players and also directly benefits the WA community through a grants program.

“Last year more than 1,000 Lotterywest grants were given to WA community organisations and statutory allocations made to health, sports and arts were in excess of $283million.”

END OF RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Consumer Protection
Alina Cavanagh (08) 6552 9366 or 0423 846 397
alina.cavanagh@commerce.wa.gov.au

Lotterywest
Jody Nunn (08) 9340 5371 or 0413 705 028
jody.nunn@lotterywest.wa.gov.au

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