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Land-BasedLotteryLegal & Regulatory

Australian National Lottery could fund athletes

Greg

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Hunt, the Australian Minister for Sport, has called for the introduction of an Australian version of the UK’s national lottery game as a way of better funding the country’s Olympic athletes.

It finished tenth in the medal standings at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the country’s worst medal finish for 24 years; federal sports authorities are keen to reverse this decline.

The Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Sports Commission have seen government funding for sports dwindle as a result, and feel the answer could lie in a UK-style lottery that funds athletes with the revenue generated.

Mr Hunt told Australia’s ABC News: "It is a sensible way to provide additional permanent sports funding which I think is fair, reasonable and appropriate.

“If it is legislated and highly regulated, and it's a public good lottery then that's sensible.”

Hunt claims that the new lottery could deliver up to A$50m in extra funding for athletes every year, with two-thirds of the proceeds going to sport and the rest being used in other good causes.

He said: "We could be sponsoring particular athletes and in return the athletes who are sports’ best ambassadors are out and about in schools and in communities."

"In 30, 50 and 100 years it will still be here and providing a way to support participation and support performance for Australian sport."

Many Australian states already operate their own lottery systems, but Hunt believes that the Australian Government could put through proposals to make the new lottery work alongside existing state lotteries by limiting it to online sales only.

Hunt added: "That's something which I believe there would be broad support for. The states would sign on, they could keep the additional revenue but they would apply it on the basis of agreed priorities with the Australian Sports Commission."

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