Online lottery agency Lottoland is caught in the latest argument with German regulation. According to a court ruling, the company may not operate in the country, as it doesn’t comply with the necessary legal framework.
Lottoland Legally Ousted from Germany
Last Friday, Germany held key proceedings of the trial against Lottoland, an established online lottery operator. A Rhineland-Palatinate district court ruled that the operator may not run its business activities in Germany nor accept gamers from the country, as its Gibraltar license did not comply with the necessary legal prerequisites.
Put in simple terms, Lottoland lacks the legal permits to run any sort of lottery business on the territory of Germany. Lottoland was done a disfavor by a local operator, to name Lotto Rhineland-Pfalz, which was the first business to lodge a complaint against its Gibraltar-based counterpart around the same time a German customer won €90 million from Lottoland.
The complaint worked in two ways. First, the plaintiff tried to bring Lottoland to justice by proving that the company had no right to run any sort of activities in Germany, and secondly it wanted to reveal the exact sum Lottoland had managed to rake in as a direct result of its operations in Germany.
Lottoland’s defense was founded in a recent court ruling that proved that European lotteries had been consolidating their monopolies and using their position to sell their merchandise. The European Union generally accepts lottery businesses that do not focus on aggressive advertising and even seek to encourage gamers from stop betting.
By letting monopolies run rampant, Lottoland’s defense stood, national legislations are basically going against the ruling of the European Union. However, the defense failed to hold in court.
Lack of License, Lack of Evidence
The counter-point was the fact that Lottoland lacked a license in Germany, depriving it from an opportunity to bring the EU ruling in its defense. As a result of the fell-through case, Lottoland is now facing new troubles.
First, it will have to immediately cease all operators in Germany and secondly – it will have to reveal its financial operations until now, so that the court may decide what fine is appropriate.
Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz has led an aggressive campaign since pre-2017 terms when the operator first noticed that Lottoland was cutting into its revenues. As a result, Rheinland-Pfalz representatives argued, the German-licensed operator had lost 7% of its revenue.
Meanwhile, Lottoland had been aware of the looming trouble. In an attempt to give itself a legal backing, the operator pushed through with its business activities while actively seeking to acquire licenses from German states.
However, its efforts have come to no meaningful conclusion, as the country’s lottery businesses association, the Deutsche Lotto and Totoblock (DLTB) have been intransigent in accepting the Gibraltar operator in their midst.
Earlier in 2018, a German gamer managed to win €90 million, which drew attention to the operator, although it did nothing to alleviate the case of the company. Similarly, the operator was less than welcome in Australia when broaching a deal with newsagents. With the case going in the way of the local German operator, Lottoland will have to prepare to foot a hefty fine and seek to recuperate its losses by eyeing new markets.