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Pennsylvania Casinos Lose Legal Battle Against State’s Lottery Over Online Games

Commonwealth court judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer dismissed a lawsuit filed recently by seven casino owners in Pennsylvania against the state’s iLottery games. The lawsuit moved to shut down internet-based lottery games in the state. It said that they used systems that are either used or patented by slot machines and casino games; one such system is the Random Number Generator (RNG).

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Commonwealth court judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer dismissed a lawsuit filed recently by seven casino owners in Pennsylvania against the state’s iLottery games. The lawsuit moved to shut down internet-based lottery games in the state. It said that they used systems that are either used or patented by slot machines and casino games; one such system is the Random Number Generator (RNG).

The judge rejected the claims from the casinos, stating that the systems in question have long been used by Pennsylvania’s online lottery games and are not in any way unique to casino gambling. The decision was reached on May 25, and it represented a massive moment for the Pennsylvania Lottery. The agency’s iLottery games have become a significant revenue source as it approaches a record-smashing $5 billion in sales for this calendar year.

Two of the casinos involved in the lawsuit were Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Penn National Gaming Inc. The argument from their owners was that by using functions such as RNGs, the iLottery was going against the 2017 rule that permitted the lottery to provide online games but ruled out any game that simulated casino-type games.

The state’s lottery officials refuted those claims, stating that the systems they used were not exclusive to casino-style games; Judge Jubelirer agreed. According to Mark Stewart, counsel for the casinos, the court’s decision is being evaluated by his clients and potential legal next steps.

The Pennsylvania Lottery started offering online lottery games back in 2018. The agency revealed that iLottery games are set to exceed $900 million in sales this calendar year.

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