Intralot's embarrassment costs A$30 000


The Australian arm of the international gambling group Intralot had the embarrassment of being slapped with a A$30 000 fine by the Victorian state government this week for failing to run a televised bingo game as promised, reports the Australian newspaper TheAge.

Under its licence, the international gaming giant was to run a live, state-wide bingo game, with tickets sold at retailers and numbers drawn on television on Sundays.

But the game has instead been run on 3AW, a Melbourne radio station.

Intralot Australia general manager Leo Watling said that the company's failure to screen the bingo draw on television was due to a lack of interest by commercial television networks in showing the bingo lottery.

Gaming Minister Tony Robinson said the state government fined Intralot last Friday. "This is the first time in Victoria the government has ever fined a lottery licence holder," he said. "We regard this as a significant breach of the licence condition."

Once the fine has been paid, the contractual obligation to televise the game will be removed.

Intralot has not had a happy time so far in the land Downunder since it commenced operations in July 2008. Retailers have complained of lost revenue through faulty technology, complicated games and poor marketing . And the state's opposition political party is making political capital out of the situation, charging that tax revenue from Intralot is $79 million below government expectations.

The government is receiving $343 million in tax from lotteries this financial year, $11 million less than planned despite Tattersall's strong performance, reports TheAge.

Opposition gaming spokesman Michael O'Brien claims that the government mismanaged the introduction of Intralot. "This fine means the government makes some money out of Intralot's problems, but what about the lottery agents? What about the small businesses whose livelihood is at risk because this government messed up?" he said this week.

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