- Pennsylvania’s Lottery recently launched iGaming.
- It was sued by seven casino operators in the state, who alleged copyright violations.
- The Lottery won the case, and will continue offering iGaming.
MIDDLETOWN, Penn. - The Pennsylvania Lottery hit the jackpot in court, as it was ruled that the Lottery’s iGaming offerings did not infringe on copyright.
The Lottery recently rolled out iGaming in PA, and understandably, the online casinos that had to pay a $10 million dollar fee in order to enter the PA market did not like that turn of events.
Seven casino operators in Pennsylvania sued the government, alleging that the iGaming offerings from the lottery infringed on titles and themes that they owned.
Anyone who is familiar with iGaming offerings knows that they tend to operate around very similar concepts - one slot machine is themed after ancient Rome, one after exploring the jungle, and so on.
This line of thinking seemed to appeal to Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, who was in charge of the case.
“The features of iLottery games challenged by petitioners are not signature, iconic, or key features particular to casino slot machines.”
What this means, basically, is that while the themes of the games are similar, those themes are also similar to plenty of other things - not just casino slot machines.
The opinion continues:
“Rather, they are features that: relate to technological advances in online gaming; are based on online entertainment and gaming, as well as existing entertainment sources like television and board games which have indisputably inspired both iLottery game and slot machines game designers; or existed in the same or similar fashion in traditional lottery products that were translated into a new online medium.”
This section specifically notes that existing entertainment sources like television and board games inspire both the iLottery games and the games run by the casinos.
Basically, you can’t have a copyright on a concept you were also inspired by.
What this means is that the PA Lottery will continue to offer iGaming options, and the casinos who sued will likely be looking for another tactic to regain online gambling market control.