The Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia, ruled in favour of Lottoland in a claim against a local regulator.
Australia.- The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) claimed Lottoland was breaking local laws. However, Justice has just favoured the international operator. The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled in its favour, in a potential blow for competitor Tabcorp.
The claim involved an opinion by ACMA, which said all but one of Lottoland’s products in Australia breached the Law. According to the company, they allowed to online betting on the outcome of a “game of chance.”
However, Justice John Sackar said that Lottoland’s products were permitted under the act. He explained they consisted of betting on the outcome of an “event”, not on a “game”. He also noted that the legislation was “not all that easy to construe.”
“A game must, in my view, be more than the simple process by which a person parts with his/her money with a chance of financial return,” he said.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin reacted soon after the ruling. She said the authority would “give careful consideration to the judgement and its implications for Australia’s online gambling regulation.”
Lottoland Australia’s chief executive Luke Brill said that AMCA’s view was “wrong, unfair, and uncompetitive.”
“With the matter now settled, Lottoland Australia can finally get on with what it does best. Providing new and exciting products that Australian punters love,” he said.
The legal challenge announcement
“With 700,000 customers in Australia, we’re going to continue to fight this,” Brill said back in July. The legislation to ban Lottoland’s business model, known as synthetic lotteries, is expected to be discussed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
While the government said that it has acted in response to community concern, Brill believes that the ban is motivated by a US$5 million “smear” campaign launched by Tabcorp in order to sink his company. “What you’re seeing from Tatts and Tabcorp at the moment is them acting like a monopoly,” he said.