Intralot to offer Aussie punters lottery by cellphone

Save the children, opponents cry

Greek gaming powerhouse Intralot has raised eyebrows in Australia with plans to allow Aussies in Victoria to purchase lottery tickets over their mobile phones. Quite the slippery slope, it seems.

John Katakis, the head honcho at Intralot, yesterday confirmed plans to sell tickets in lotteries via SMS, The Australian has reported.

"If it serves the purposes of the game and the player, then why not? Nowadays everybody is using the technology for some purpose to have a better life. It's not what we want, it's what the market wants," Mr Katakis said.

"We have the technology to provide that type of service. If the market needs something like this, we are able to do it. If we have the opportunity and we are able to do it, then we do it."

Intralot Australian director Tony Sheehan and the government of Victoria have really tried to soft peddle any chance of mobile phone lotteries becoming reality - after all, this is an issue that touches a nerve due to the prevalence of mobile phones among those under the legal gambling age.

The government did, however, include SMS and mobile distribution within the rubric of accepted distribution methods under the license granted to Intralot. Once the lottery is on mobile phones, and customers get used to purchasing gambling services through their phone with the ease of a ringtone download, other services are sure to follow. Who can stop technology?

The writing is on the wall. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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