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A national sport lottery helps the future of Australian sport

The idea is not a new one, having been first floated in 1979, but Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt says it is now something he has a "strong bias" towards.
"It's something that in my time and on my watch I would like to see us achieve," he said.
The lottery would be expected to raise tens of millions of dollars to help fund professional sports in Australia, with a similar model already in place in the United Kingdom.
The Federal Government recently cracked down on gambling advertising during televised sports but Mr Hunt says a lottery is not the same as sports gambling.
"Well I think this is very different. If it is legislated and highly regulated, and it's a public good lottery then that's sensible," he said.

In 30, 50 and 100 years it will still be here and providing a way to support participation and support performance for Australian sport."
Previous attempts to raise the idea have been met with mixed reactions from the states and territories many of which already run their own lotteries.

But Mr Hunt says the new model would involve them.
He said the federal government could legislate for an online lottery and leave the over-the-counter ticket sales to the states.
"That's something which I believe there would be broad support for," he said.
"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."
Asked whether the lottery would also fund grassroots sports Mr Hunt said one model he liked was to use the additional funding for professional athletes who then inspire the community.

"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."
Hunt said the lottery would be in addition to and have no impact on the level of Federal Government funding for sport.

It is the right direction and will actually be a source of comfort for individual sports.
"I think that will only strengthen Australian sport."
Interested parties have until the end of July to have their say and the Australian Sports Commission said the final plan could be released as early as August.


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