A Nashville judge has ordered the Tennessee Education Lottery to reinstate Action 24/7’s sports betting licence after the company was accused of not having enough protections in place to prevent debit card theft last week.
On Wednesday last week, Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Patricia Head Moskal held an emergency hearing at which lawyers for Action 24/7 argued that the gaming operator’s concerns had been inflated.
Debit card theft
After the corporation confirmed multiple cases of debit card theft to lottery regulators, the ban was imposed. A individual made 124 deposits into a casino account of seven separate cards, placed minimal bets, and then removed the bulk of the money in one event.
The timing of the suspension, according to solicitor E Steele Clayton IV, could not have been worse, when it came at the height of college basketball’s March Madness.
“I get there is a learning curve,” he said, but “our business is being destroyed” as lottery officials are learning.
Complaint filed to reverse conjunction
Clayton filed a complaint on Monday to reverse the injunction, reminding the court on Wednesday that a lottery prosecutor reported at a hastily called conference last week that the scam incurred “tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages” while the real amount was $22,601.
He went on to say that the corporation soon caught on to the scam and took action to keep it from happening again. He also said the lottery officials were denied the opportunity to hear Action 24/7’s version of events because they were not able to comment at the meeting where board members voted to ratify a suspension imposed by workers the day before. According to the complaint, this was a breach of due process.
At the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Lindsay Sisco argued that the board was within its powers to move quickly to protect the public and the reputation of the sports betting system, acknowledging that the state’s sports betting system is modern and that there is a learning curve.
Immediate and long term damage
Clayton argued that the damage was both immediate and long-term, so bettors are more likely to stick with the firm with which they first placed a wager.
“I appreciate the timing, with the basketball tournament this weekend,” the judge added, recognising the need for hurry.
Moskal wrote in her Friday ruling: “Action 24/7 has clearly shown the likelihood that its rights are being violated and it will suffer immediate and irreparable injury.” While the corporation challenges, she demanded that the licence be restored.
The lottery issued a statement after the ruling, saying: “We will continue to work with Action 24/7 to implement appropriate minimum internal control standards that protect the public interest and minimize risk to the integrity of sports gaming in Tennessee.”