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Doorstop, Seven News, Parliament House

E & OE

CHRIS MAHER:
Minister, thank  you again for your time. 
Why has it been  necessary to put this legislation into Parliament?

FIFIELD:
Well, we've  heard the community concern about synthetic lotteries, where it's possible to  bet on the outcome of a lottery or an outcome of keno. We think that when it  comes to gambling, this is a step too far. So, we will be legislating to ban  synthetic lotteries.

MAHER:
Why is it a  step too far?

FIFIELD:
There are a  range gaming options in the community and what we need to do as a government is  seek to strike a balance between the right of Australians to do the things that  they want to do on the one hand, and on the other, to put in place appropriate  community safeguards.

MAHER:
Can't it be  just seen though as the Government safeguarding its own tax receipts?

FIFIELD:
A number of  state governments have also expressed concern about synthetic lotteries. But what  we're looking at is the community interest, newsagents, pharmacists, pubs and  clubs have all expressed concerns about synthetic lotteries.

MAHER:
You mention  newsagents but in truth there is a something of a split view here. That  newsagents in particular in NSW and Victoria, say that this legislation will  contribute to a monopoly held by Tatts in the market. What do you say in  regards to that?

FIFIELD:
The  overwhelming majority of newsagencies have expressed support for what we're  doing. But when it comes to the regulation of lotteries, that's entirely a  matter in the hands of state government.

MAHER:
So, isn't it a  good thing to have choice in terms of, you know, even with gambling products?

FIFIELD:
It's up to  state governments as to which organisations they license to undertake  activities.What we're doing at a Commonwealth level purely relates to  online betting on the outcome of lotteries.

MAHER:
And what do you  see as the timetable for this legislation?

FIFIELD:
We're  introducing the legislation into the House of Representatives today.Once  it is given Royal Assent this ban will come into effect six months after  that.

MAHER:
Ok. Now when do  you roughly see that as occurring Minister? Any idea on that front?

FIFIELD:
Well,  Parliament rises until Budget week. So, I'd be hoping that sometime over May,  June we would legislate this. And then within six months the ban will come into  effect.

MAHER:
That would  effectively outlaw Lottoland and similar products?

FIFIELD:
The legislation  will mean that no organisation can offer to Australians online betting on the  outcomes of lottery and keno.

MAHER:
All right.  Thank you for your time.

FIFIELD:
Thanks very  much.

[ends]