Just over two months of its launch, India's first online lottery Super Lotto promoted by Sikkim Government and marketed by Playwin Infravest has run into rough weather, with a PIL in Delhi High Court seeking ban on it on the ground that it violates Lottery Regulation Act 1998.
The PIL filed by advocate Arun Maitri on behalf of a NGO 'Public Redressal Forum' names Union Ministry of Finance, State of Delhi, Sikkim Government, Playwin Investments, Zee TV Network and Tashi Delak Gaming Solutions as the respondents.
The petition charges that respondents are misleading the public at large by claiming that Super Lotto is a game and not a lottery and its rules and regulations, which are being advertised, are of deceptive nature. The petitioner also maintains that the State of Sikkim has entered into the unknown agreements with the respondents in order to by pass the provisions of Law.
The petition takes strong exception to roll over of mega prize by the Super Lotto in contravention of Lottery Act, which envisages that if any prize money is unclaimed or is otherwise not distributed by way of prize, it must revert to and become the property of the State Government.
While listing the petition for disposal on July 17, the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A.K. Sikri had directed the respondents to see that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana Vs Suman Enterprises and others and the case of B.R Enterprises Vs State of UP and others are followed.
The case against Playwin has taken a new twist with the petitioner initiating Contempt of Court proceedings against the respondents on the ground that in violation of the directions of Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Super Lotto operations were being carried out in violation of the Lottery Act.
Meanwhile the High Court case might well have its bearing on Playwin's proposed expansion programme to start two new lottery games through Maharashtra and Karnataka Governments.