Shopping or Gambling?

A new Australian website that allows shoppers to have a punt while snapping up bargains has drawn criticism from addiction experts. is based on a new concept called ratio shopping that lets shoppers try their luck at purchasing an item for $1, otherwise they pay the advertised price.
Wyngle - Online Shopping and BettingWyngle founder Sebastian Langton said the concept added an element of excitement to shopping and was ”not really a form of gambling”.

”It’s a sequential ordering system, when we say a shopper has a one-in-three chance of winning it’s not like a scratchie. Every third person buys it for $1.”

The website has been registered as a lottery with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and displays the state government logo on its homepage.

Mr Langton said the website provided an incentive for people to shop online and prevented retailers from having to discount their products.

Yesterday the website was selling an iPad 2 for $742.90 but one in 10 shoppers apparently snapped up the electronic item for $1.

Responsible Gambling Fund chairman Harry Herbert said the website could confuse people.

”The government logo may give the community the wrong impression,” he said.

”We have so many forms of gambling in Australia, do we need any more?”

He said young people could access the website and overcommit themselves in the hope of winning an item for $1.

National Children’s and Youth Law Centre Law director Matthew Keeley said the website targeted youth and its terms of use were problematic.

”Young people under 18 generally cannot get a credit card, but they can have a debit card so they may be enticed to give ratio shopping a go,” he said. ”Wyngle’s terms of use says a person must be at least 18 years of age or have the consent of a parent or guardian to purchase. It’s a bit of an issue then that Wyngle’s sign-up page doesn’t ask for information about a person’s age.”

He said people should familiarise themselves with the terms of conditions before using the site.

In an effort to prevent people from cheating the system, the website does not offer refunds unless an item is faulty. Shoppers must commit to paying the normal price before they have the chance to pay $1.

More than 350 products are currently sold on the site through a range of suppliers.


The team behind Wyngle says the concept is a world first. They have patented the idea to prevent copycat websites from cropping up.