The UK High Court has dealt a blow to lottery betting providers, by rejecting an appeal brought by Lottoland and Multi Lotto over the right to take bets on the EuroMillions draw in other countries.
Earlier this year, the two companies were given permission to apply to the High Court to appeal against recent amendments to the 2005 Gambling Act. The appeal was lodged against the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the operator of the National Lottery, Camelot.
The litigants were aiming for the removal of the 2018 amendments which came into effect on April 6, which made it illegal for any company to offer betting on the outcome of non-UK EuroMillions lottery draws. Prior to the amendments, legislation made it illegal for any third party to offer betting markets or promotions based on any National Lottery outcome.
But companies including Lottoland and Multi Lotto adhered to the legislative framework by offering betting markets on the outcome of non-UK draws in the EuroMillions draw – a European lottery not run or regulated by any UK body such as the UKGC.
The amendments introduced by DCMS this year were an attempt to close this loophole, but Lottoland and Multi Lotto had argued that the amendments by DCMS and the UKGC had prevented the two companies from offering a service that is beyond their regulatory remit.
But in their decision, the High Court ruled that the amendments introduced by DCMS were lawful and within their remit, on the grounds that the UK government was entitled to take action to protect what it described as ‘public policy initiatives’ such as the National Lottery. The Court also found that the gambling policies of EU member states was not a ‘harmonised legal discipline’ and as a result, the UK government was entitled to make unilateral policy amendments.
Steven is a seasoned freelancer writer from Coventry in the UK. He specialises in writing about the gambling industry and aims to provide unbiased, trustworthy and high quality content to the public. Whilst away from his freelance writing work he enjoys watching the football and following the F1.