Australian Sports Lottery Under Threat As State Ministers Express Concerns
A A$100M ($79.3M) plan to "fast-track a national sports lottery" to support the Australian Olympic team in Tokyo is "under threat, as state governments say they need more time for consultation," according to Samantha Hutchinson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Australian Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt "could not confirm whether moves to get a national sports lottery up and running by next July remain on track" after agreeing on Friday to extend a consultation period with the state governments. Hunt outlined in May a national sports plan to "boost lagging Australian sporting results," which included a British-style lottery system slated to commence next July. But at a meeting on Friday, state sports ministers expressed "concerns over the timing of the plan and its ambitious start date, and other reservations about using a lottery or gambling system to raise funds for national sports teams." A spokesperson for Hunt said that he had agreed to extend the consultation period for the plan at the request of the South Australian government, but "stressed the lottery plan was still under way even as he backed away from earlier suggestions of a July start date." Some sports ministers at the meeting reportedly said that "more discussions needed to be had with state-based treasurers to settle on the finer details of the lottery plan, given that the creation of a new lottery could generate losses for existing state-based lottery systems" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/21).