Government Seeks To Have A Competitive Market In Lotteries

Government Seeks To Have A Competitive Market In Lotteries

Victoria Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien

Government To Consult Following Intralot Report

Victor P Taffa

An Independent Report into an aspect of the Public Lottery Licensing Process undertaken in 2008 by the Previous Government has found that Intralot was treated unequally.

Tabling the report of the Independent Review Panel (IRP) in Parliament today Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien said that while the report found Intralot had been treated unequally, it also found there was no intention to treat Intralot unequally in the process, and that the report created no impediments to current licensing processes.

“However, it does support the Government’s commitment to ensuring undue restrictions on retail competition in lotteries do not continue to unfairly hamper a competitive market.” Mr. O’Brien said.

In January 2010 Intralot lodged a complaint with the Gambling and Lotteries Licence Review Panel, known as the Independent Review Panel, regarding allegations of unfair treatment in the Licensing Process.

Both public lottery licences include a clause that prohibits the licensee from entering into ‘exclusive arrangements’ for the distribution of lottery products. However Tattersall’s Category 1 Public Lottery Licence allows it to include in the franchise agreements a clause whereby the agent is prohibited from selling rival lottery products from the ‘Tattersall’s dedicated area’.

In its complaint, Intralot alleged it was not treated equally or impartially because it was not informed about the licence amendments to provide for Tattersall’s dedicated sales areas.

The IRP found that Intralot should have been advised of the Government’s changed position on its willingness to negotiate on licence conditions relating to dedicated areas, but that Intralot had not been so advised.

However, the IRP did not recommend the deletion of the relevant clauses in Tattersall’s licence as sought by Intralot, as it found that any remedy should focus on rights that could be given to Intralot, rather than the removal of rights from Tattersall’s.

Mr. O’Brien said that many lottery agents had expressed concern that retail restrictions required by Tattersall’s severely hampered their ability to market Intralot products on their own premises.

“We believe competition in the lottery market will ultimately benefit lottery players, agents and taxpayers.”

We want to ensure the community can have confidence in the integrity of Lottery Games and the Gambling Industry in Victoria.” Mr. O’Brien said.

The Baillieu Government will consult with the Lottery Licensees and Lottery Agents before responding to the report’s findings.