Nigel Birrell: Lottoland – High Court has missed the opportunity to help innovators

Nigel Birrell, Chief Executive of Lottoland, has published an official statement following the High Court of England & Wales’ rejection of the combined ‘EuroMillions appeal’ against DCMS and its interested parties – the UKGC and National Lottery operator Camelot UK.

This week, Lord Justice Green and Justice Gross rejected Lottoland and Multi Lotto UK’s February High Court appeal seeking to annul DCMS approved ‘Gambling Act 2005’ amendments on ‘synthetic lotteries’ offering EuroMillions transactions.

“We respect the UK court ruling regarding betting on non-UK Euromillions, but are disappointed at the missed opportunity to remove a piece of legislation that, in our view, conflicts with the fundamental rights of EU law which should allow Lottoland the freedom to provide all of its services to the UK,” Birrell’s statement reads.

Lottoland and Multi Lotto had charged DCMS of denying services on EuroMillions, a pan-European lottery game that is not governed by the remit of the UKGC, thus unfairly favouring Camelot UK as National Lottery operator.

Furthermore, the appeal stated that DCMS amendments had breached EU laws on member states restricting services and that the government department had not conducted a fair consultation on its policy which was enforced from 6 April 2018.

The judgement ofEU Lotto Ltd vs DCMS’ saw the High Court back DCMS, stating that as a government department it should have the ability to implement policy amendments on ‘the grounds of protecting recognised public policy initiatives’, such as securing National Lottery funds for good causes.

Birrell and Lottoland maintain that the Gambling Act amendments simply serve to support Camelot as National Lottery operator, stifling innovation and market disruptors. Nevertheless, leading Lottoland, Birrell confirms that the Gibraltar firm will not move to contest the High Court’s decision.

“We feel that this new legislation simply protects the outdated monopoly and that this ruling goes against freedom of choice and value for customers in the UK.

“Lottoland is an innovator who grows the market and offers customers new products and games. That said, we aim to move on and will not appeal the court decision.”

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