Opposition criticises proposed Oz Lotto changes in Victoria

The opposition is accusing the government of a cash grab.
The opposition is accusing the government of a cash grab.

The Victoria state government has proposed increasing the number of balls from 45 to 47.

Australia.- Opposition politicians have criticised the government of Victoria’s proposed changes to Oz Lotto. They say the changes will make it harder for people to win the jackpot.

The Victoria state government has proposed increasing the number of balls from 45 to 47. The changes also allow for the addition of a second keno licence and the availability of online keno. The changes are scheduled to take effect on May 17 subject to regulatory approval.

Melissa Horne, secretary of state for consumer affairs, alcohol and gambling legislation, acknowledged that winning the lottery would be more difficult, but she said there will be other benefits.

She said: “This creates more winning combinations and really provides that chance of winning any prize,” and added the changes were in line with measures in other states and territories, and total spending to players would not change.

Authorities said the changes would not increase gambling-related harm, but the Alliance for Gambling Reform’s Tim Costello has challenged that.

Costello said: “Really, at a time when we had the greatest gambling losses in the world — and that’s 40 per cent higher than the nation that comes second — why more gambling opportunities? Why a second licence? That is puzzling.”

200,000 Australian children exposed to parental gambling, study finds

Dr Aino Suomi, director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the Australian National University has released a study about gambling behaviours that found almost 200,000 Australian children are exposed to moderate or serious levels of harmful gambling by a parent each year.

According to the study, 10 per cent of Australian parents had engaged in some level of risky gambling in the past year. Suomi said that despite acknowledging the negative effects of gambling on children, there has been little research to quantify the magnitude of the problem in Australia.

Nearly 60,000 children face the highest levels of parental gambling problems, which can lead to significant harm. At the other end of the scale, nearly half a million children were exposed to lower-risk parental gambling, the study found.

In February, new research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) Australians reported participating in online gambling at some stage in the previous six months. That’s an 8 per cent increase from 2020.

Victoria’s VGCCC to start disciplinary proceedings against Crown

The new Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has announced one of its first actions – disciplinary action against Crown Resorts. The regulator is taking action over findings that emerged in the state’s Royal Commission into Crown on its China Union Pay process used to evade Chinese currency restrictions and enable the illegal transfer of funds. 

The VGCCC, which was launched on January 1, could impose a fine up to a maximum of AU$100m, modify Crown’s casino licence, censure the casino operator and order it to take rectification steps. It said it will make further announcements after reviewing Crown’s response.

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