News High Court backs Government non-UK EuroMillions betting ban

Previous loophole will remain firmly closed

“Back in February, we reported that a number of gambling service providers were looking to challenge the Government’s ban on operators offering bets on EuroMillions draws taking place in other jurisdictions. Our article setting out the background can be found here.

Regulation 4 was inserted into the Gambling Act 2005 (Operating Licence Conditions) Regulations 2007 which came into force in April 2018. This regulation prevents holders of betting operating licences from offering bets on the outcome of non – UK EuroMillions draws and closes the previous loophole that operators had been relying upon.

The Government argued at the time of consulting on the amendment that by continuing to allow betting on non-UK Euromillions draws consumer spend may be diverted from true lottery products and that EuroMillions sales, and consequently National Lottery good cause returns, may decrease.

A judicial review was sought by EU Lotto Ltd, Lottoland Europe Ltd and Multi Lotto UK Ltd in respect of the Secretary of State’s decision and included challenges against both the fairness of the original consultation and whether the Regulations impose an unlawful restriction on the freedom of businesses to provide services under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The High Court decided that “…the Secretary of State was well within his margin of discretion in deciding to choose an outright prohibition…” and the Court also rejected the Claimant’s argument that the consultation was unfair.”

For further information please contact solicitor Richard Bradley on (0115) 953 8500 or email R.Bradley@popall.co.uk