The new European Lotto Betting Association has been unveiled this week and is seeking to “dispel myths” about the sector.

The founding members of the betting body are international operators myLotto24, Multilotto, Legacy8, Lottoland and Lottogo, however, others are welcome to join as the association plans to develop partnerships with regulators and stakeholders across the industry.

European Lotto Betting Association’s spokesperson Lena Patel, who is head of corporate affairs at myLotto24 said that Australia’s decision to approve a ban on lottery betting websites from January 1, 2019 illustrate some of the challenges facing the sector.

“Australia’s had an impact on the sector, of course, and the general tone and language coming out about lottery betting in the media is negative,” Patel said.

“For example, the sector is often described as unregulated and we are often accused of not having the right customer protection measures in place. That’s not true.

“We want to dispel myths about lottery betting and create better relationships with regulators. Gambling regulations are being reviewed in lots of jurisdictions, so this is an opportunity to educate people.

“The ELBA has been set up primarily to offer a collective voice for the industry and our aim is to work together to create a more regulated environment that takes account of customer protection.”

She also noted that it was unfair for lottery betting companies to be accused of diverting money from national lotteries and the good causes they support.

“A lot of the talk about lottery betting has not been backed up by evidence,” Patel added.

“Taking the UK as an example, according to a National Audit Office report earlier this year, there is no evidence to show that lottery betting takes money away from the National Lottery.

“We offer betting on the outcome of live events, and our live events just happen to be lotteries. The collective voice of the industry hasn’t been strong enough and there has been a lot of misunderstanding, but we’re legitimate and want to protect the consumer.

“Also, we do give back to good causes and have a strong corporate responsibility programme.”

Patel also said that the betting body’s stakeholders are currently drafting a code of conduct for its members, ensuring the group provides consistency in areas such as corporate social responsibility.

“This will provide definite levels of standards to make sure we’re in line with each other,” Patel noted.

“We don’t have any targets in place in terms of the number of members, but we would like to grow the group.”