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Kevin Smith

I-Gaming Discussions on Tap For WLA Conference

22 March 2005

With a keen eye on developments in the interactive space, the World Lottery Association is planning an extensive legal conference next month to discuss ways the industry can take advantage of the Internet and other technological advancements.

The event, "Legal Challenges, Both National and International," is scheduled to be held in Quebec City April 20-22. On tap is a full slate of seminars and discussions around major developments that could affect the lottery industry.

Produced by the WLA and supported by the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), the event is designed to give lottery professionals a look at "bigger picture" legal issues that could have ramifications on the industry.

A spokesperson for the NASPL said the event will also be a great opportunity for lottery officials to share their experiences with each other and find out how their colleagues from other jurisdictions in the world deal with similar legal issues.

The conference will also focus on landmark court rulings that could affect the lottery industry.

A decision from the World Trade Organization on Antigua's cross-border trade dispute with the United States is expected in early April and should be a hot topic at the conference. Antigua, a leading jurisdiction for online casinos, sports books and other gambling sites, filed a complaint with the WTO holding that the United States is infringing on its rights as a WTO member by blocking American users from accessing sites. The WTO initially ruled in favor of Antigua, but the United States is appealing the ruling. A decision in the appeal is scheduled to come down in early April. Although the case centers on online gambling activities, it could affect the international lottery industry, as a ruling in favor of Antigua could open the door for cross-border gambling throughout the world.

The conference will also look at various court rulings in the European Court of Justice that deal with cross-border commerce and other areas that could affect the sale of lottery tickets.

The event will additionally cover the rise in lottery-related Internet fraud and how lotteries can combat this growing scourge. The growing liberalization of gaming markets in some jurisdictions will also be discussed.

The provisional program includes the following topics:

  • updates on gaming legislation in North America, Europe and Asia;
  • Internet legislation and related legal challenges around the world;
  • EU legal cases and their consequences for lotteries;
  • legal aspects of corporate social responsibility;
  • class actions (a new phenomena in the gaming and lottery world);
  • examples of legal and illegal gaming;
  • scams and internet frauds (reasons for the increase and ways to respond); and
  • case studies.

The conference comes at an interesting juxtaposition for WLA members. Many international lottery operators have embraced the Internet as a new distribution channel, while operators in the United States and elsewhere in North America have been more hesitant to bring their products to the Internet.

The event should give North American operators a good chance to talk to their international counterparts and find out what has and hasn't worked in implementing Internet and wireless technologies into their business plans.

I-Gaming Discussions on Tap For WLA Conference is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith