The People’s High Court of Beijing has ordered the state-owned Beijing China Lottery Online Technology Company pay $197.3m in backdated fees to China LotSynergy Holdings.
The ruling follows the continued use of 41,500 LotSynergy VLTs by CLO despite a ten-year operational partnership between the firms ending without renewal in 2015.
The VLTs in question permit the digital sale of welfare lottery products, and are active in more than 2,000 lottery halls in 28 of the country’s provinces.
The court awarded LotSynergy the “cooperation remuneration,” plus interest, payable within ten days of the ruling, after LotSynergy subsidiary Dongguan Tianyi Electronics initiated the civil lawsuit.
The legal victory of an independent company over the state-approved operator marks a significant precedent for the free gaming market, as well as a continued boost to the lottery industry, which saw VLT numbers reach 10.8 percent of total Chinese lottery sales in 2017.