German Court Orders Lottoland Cease Operation

Lottery betting company ordered to pay compensation to plaintiff

A Koblenz district court in Germany has dealt lottery betting operator Lottoland a bitter blow ruling that the operator is not authorised to offer its services to German players under the country’s State Treaty on Gaming and must cease advertising and operations in Germany.

The case, brought before the court by plaintiff, Rhineland-Palatinate State Lottery, Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH, saw Lottoland countering that state-run lottery monopolies, operating under Germany’s State Treaty on Gaming, fly in the face of higher ranking European Union law. The company requested, and was denied, that the case be suspended in the District Court and heard before the European Union’s Court of Justice (ECJ).

In it ruling, the court clarified its position, saying the EU lawfulness of German lottery monopolies was irrelevant as Lottoland’s game principle is not based on the operation of a lottery but rather on betting on the outcome of lotteries. The court also deemed Lottoland’s offer as endangering player protections.

The ruling orders Lottoland open its books to scrutiny and pay compensation to Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz GmbH for “depriving it of potential customers resulting in the loss of gambling stakes”.

Germany is one of Lottoland’s core markets, and ironically their biggest winner to date hails from Berlin scooping the Euro 90 million jackpot in June 2018.