Lottery ruling victory for My Lucky Day “Smartplay operates without permit”

POSTED: 03/11/14 12:14 AM

St. Maarten – Robbie’s Lottery operates in St. Maarten without the necessary permits. This appears from a ruling the Court in First Instance pronounced yesterday in a lawsuit of two companies doing business as Robbie’s Lottery – Smartplay NV and Jamaroma Lotteries NV – against competitor My Lucky Day NV.

Smartplay and Jamaroma dragged My Lucky Day to court demanding that the company stops using the numbers from their draws for its own lotteries, and that it stops using the brand names Smartplay and St. Maarten Daily Number on its lottery tickets. The companies asked the court to impose a penalty of 50,000 guilders for non-compliance.

In reconvention, My Lucky Day demanded that Robbie’s Lottery stops selling tickets for Smartplay, Daily Number and the Curacao lottery in St. Maarten and to impose a penalty of 100,000 guilders for non-compliance.

The court rejected both demands.

Judge Koen Luijks states in his ruling that it has been established that “Smartplay c.s. do not have the required permits to organize number games in St. Maarten. Smartplay has not stated that it does have such a permit. On the other and, My Lucky Day does have a permit.”

With a reference to the civil code and the use of three Latin expressions, the court ruled “he who cites his own immorality does not have the ear of the court,” that “an immoral case does not create a legal claim” and lastly that “in cases of equal unlawfulness the position of the defendant is stronger.”

These arguments prevent according to the court that Smartplay c.s. can successfully challenge My Lucky Day based on tort. “Smartplay cannot prevent that My Lucky Day piggybacks on the number games Smartplay c.s. organizes without a permit. By organizing number games without a permit Smartplay c.s. have excluded themselves from the protection by the rule that piggybacking on someone else’s number-draws is in principle wrongful.”

The court further rules that the registered brand names Daily Number and Smart Play “appear to be under the name of a thirds party and not under the name of Smartplay c.s. Facts and circumstances why Smartplay c.s. are able to claim protection based on these brand rights have not been established in court.”

The court also dismissed My Lucky Day’s demand against Smartplay c.s. “The rule that requires a permit for organizing number games does not lead to protection of the interest My Lucky Day claims and the damages My Lucky Day says to suffer from the number games organized by Smartplay c.s.,” the court ruling states.

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