Lottoland and It's Bizarre Terms and Conditions

OK, there was Lottoland advertising on my page. In big letters it showed a big US half billion dollar draw. In fine print below were strange conditions that don't seem particularly legal under Australia's consumer laws. Like the part about a 35% reduction as per T&Cs and the choice of lump sum or outright being at Lottoland's discretion. I don't care if I 'would have' payed tax in the US, tax that is not actually being taxed or paid and just used for the calculation of a reduced payout. I don't think Lottoland should be able to advertise marquee jackpot numbers that are reduced by artificial fake taxes that aren't actually paid. It smacks of a Harvey Norman camera sale in it's level of deceptive advertising.

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  • Lottoland is a lottery betting service that allows Australians to bet on the outcomes of large overseas lotteries, with the chance to win multimillion-dollar prizes if they select the winning numbers.

    You're not actually in the running to win the $100,000,000 USD prize, you're betting on the numbers drawn for that lottery. The odds of you selecting the correct numbers are slim enough for them to offer large potential payouts (odds being 1 in 13,983,816 for picking the 6 correct balls from a basket of 49).

    • But do you see the bait and switch nature of advertising a figure automatically inflated by 50%. It is impossible to win the advertised figure or even close, and for the excuse of taxes which are never paid.

      • Are you able to link a screenshot of the ad in question?

        I've only ever seen ads for them on TV, and they finish the ad with text and spoken voice clarifying that it's a lottery-outcome betting service only. While it does entice people in with massive jackpot figures, I felt the TV ads make it reasonably clear that you aren't entering the lottery with a chance to win the quoted figures.

        • I now get ads for Hair Expo :)

          Maybe I'm a fossil, but there is a concept of equal prominence in advertising, loosely enforced it seems. The half billion dollar figure was at least 10 times larger than the fineprint direction to the T&Cs where it's buried.

          I do read fineprint, particularly the insurance ads where they say 'actors portraying enthusiasts'.

  • Have a look at this segment The Checkout on ABC did about Lottoland. My favourite part is they open the segment by calling Lottoland "A pack of dodgy punts".

    • Yes. Interesting that they don't enter you into the lottery. They just award your winnings if you win.

    • My favourite is when the jackpot is say $100m and it goes off and gets split 3 ways, so each real winner gets $33.3m. If you win on Lottoland, they treat it like you were the 4th winner, so you only get $25m (and then they deduct tax, perpetuity crap, etc)!

      • +1 vote

        In fairness though, that's exactly what would happen if you had bought a winning ticket in the lottery itself…

  • Another thing is the insurance agency is run out a pretty dingy old building. I wouldnt really be betting that they would be able to pay out a million dollars, let alone 10s, or 100s of millions

  • By the way, there is already a ~40% reduction for taking a lotto win as a lump sum. I do accept that that is one choice of the winner in US lotteries, but that's pretty heavy stacking when it's a reduction.

  • I like not seeing ads.

  • They have a €100 million ILS in case someone does hit it big (which actually wouldn't be enough to cover some of the prizes they claim to offer):

    • +3 votes

      My completely unsubstantiated theory is that they won't actually pay out any of the mega jackpots. They'll just declare the company bankrupt, and move on with their lives, having earned a nice salary from their little experiment.

      • I think that's unlikely because the ILS does exist and people have invested in it (God knows why). So this €100 million will be released by KPMG under the terms of the ILS and I don't think there's any legal way for Lottoland to claim that back. They may declare bankruptcy after that of course.

        • Yeah I'm talking about if the jackpot is $500M / €500M / way too much for the funds held in escrow.

          It's unlikely to ever happen of course, but if it does, you can bet (ha!) that the Lottoland directors won't be selling their personal assets to ensure the winnings are paid in full.

          It's probable that the winner(s) at this time would get proportional shares in €100M + whatever's held in operational reserves, but I haven't read the terms & conditions closely enough to see what happens.

  • Don't worry. Chances are you won't win anyway.

    I know that's not the point though…

  • Were you thinking of winning?

    • No. More interested in finding out what the catch of certain business models is. Reading buried T&Cs. Futile whinging online ;). Consumer advocacy over any of this social justice nonsense, I say. Silly hypotheiticals, like: If Lottoland can have virtual taxes, why not say that certain states in the US confiscate/seize illegal gambling revenue, so no winnings at all for you due to some archaic law in New Hampshire that never actually comes into play.

      • Report it to Consumer Affairs/ Gaming Commission.

        Most prudent OzBargainers would avoid gambling, especially gambling on the outcome of an overseas lottery.

        • I'm a bit Commission jaded/averse. I worked for a company back in about 2000 that I left shaking my head that ASIC and the ASX had approved. They ended up being one of Australia's biggest corporate collapses six years after I left. It was obvious to me that it going to happen, but ASIC only seem to operate in surprised retrospect.

          Unrelated, the UK police have now started just giving victims bunches of flowers instead of investigating their thefts etc to save money. It's just token management.