An Internet lottery has been banned from using traditional media to advertise its service, but can continue use the Web to sell and promote its service.
Millions 2000 sought to challenge the ban on the promotion of oversees lotteries in the UK, but a high Court judge ruled in favour of the Home Office this week that Camelot can keep its monopoly as the only lottery advertised in the UK.
David Vanrenen, chairman of Earthport.com, the promoter of the Millions 2000 lottery, said the result is a positive one as it removes the issue of how to deal with traditional advertising.
"We took it as a victory. As a purely Internet company it takes some issues off our plate," he said.
He also believes that by being allowed to continue operating, the ruling has given it a stamp of approval, silencing opponents who sought a ban on lotteries run over the Internet.
But, the company believes the ruling goes against the Treaty of Rome by prohibiting free trade and effective competition. Two similar cases are expected to go through the European Court shortly and, if successful, Millions 2000 hopes the result will help in its fight.
Millions 2000 is operated by the International Liechtenstein Foundation and was set up as a massive fundraising project for the Red Cross as part of the charity's millennium celebrations. The charity sought to use a Web based lottery to raise enough money make it free of government funding, but Vanrenen said the National Lottery viewed this as a threat and threatened to pull its funding and persuade others to do the same.
In response the Red Cross brought in the World Health Organisation to share the funds so that it would not be the only beneficiary.
Purely Internet based, Millions 2000 had wanted to maximise exposure by advertising on the UK's television, radio and print media as well as selling tickets on the ground.
Now barred from doing so, Vanrenen said Millions 2000 will step up its online promotion ready for the draw, which will be held on the first day of the new millennium.
It claims to be 60 times easier to win than the National Lottery - 232,000 to one compared to over 13 million to one.
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