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Judge: Wyoming Lottery lawsuit against man can continue

Wyoming LotteryWyoming Lottery: Judge: Wyoming Lottery lawsuit against man can continue

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A judge has denied a Cheyenne man's request to dismiss a lawsuit the Wyoming Lottery Corporation is pressing against him that seeks to force him to stop criticizing it to national lottery groups and others.

The corporation filed a lawsuit this spring protesting that Edward Atchison had written to national groups and Wyoming newspapers saying the lottery needs to do more to address problem gambling. The corporation seeks a court order directing him not to interfere with its business relationships.

District Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne last week denied Atchison's request to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge ruled the lawsuit gave enough detail to put Atchison on notice of what the corporation's claiming.

However, Campbell ruled he will hold a hearing Nov. 30 on the corporation's request to amend its lawsuit and will require it to provide more detail about its claims.

Cheyenne lawyer Tim Kingston represents Atchison. In his request to dismiss the lawsuit, Kingston argued that it amounted to a "SLAPP suit," meaning a "strategic lawsuit against public participation," or a legal action designed to scare people so they won't criticize or oppose an entity.

"What's important is the judge has said he's going to require the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to flesh out what their claims are, and to provide specific facts of allegedly defamatory statements made by Mr. Atchison, as well as fleshing out the facts of how they were damaged," Kingston said Thursday.

Kingston said the judge's order means the lottery corporation will have to show what contracts or business relationships it has that might have been impaired by Atchison.

"We've believed that they don't have any facts that support their claims," he said. "Now they're going to have to put up or shut up."

The Wyoming Legislature authorized the lottery corporation in 2013, and tickets went on sale last fall. Kingston said it's clear the corporation is a state entity.

"It was created by the Legislature, authorized by the Legislature, signed by the governor," Kingston said. "I believe they are a state agency or entity, and they have the resources and power of the state. And for a state entity to claim that it's been defamed by a citizen who has First Amendment rights, I think is an outrageous thing and a very chilling thing."

Cheyenne lawyer Matthew D. Kaufman represents the lottery corporation in the lawsuit. He declined comment Thursday on Campbell's ruling.

In an interview in March, after the lawsuit was filed, Kaufman said the lottery's action against Atchison is not a "SLAPP suit."

Kaufman said in March that in order to sell tickets to the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, the Wyoming lottery must be in good standing with organizations such as the Multi-State Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

Kaufman said in March that Atchison had contacted the national lottery groups and alleged that the Wyoming lottery was not operating according to its statutory mandates. He said Atchison's actions threatened the existence of the lottery, and the lottery felt it had to file the lawsuit to protect itself.

Washington Times

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28 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by zephbe.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
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Posted: October 23, 2015, 1:04 pm - IP Logged

They are following the allegations are true playbook, demonize the whistleblower.

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg
    Lavender Rocket

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    Posted: October 23, 2015, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

    They are following the allegations are true playbook, demonize the whistleblower.

    Are they demonizing the whistleblower?  I read it that the court was telling the corporation to put up or shut up (prove you have legitimate grounds for your suit or go away).  What did I miss?

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
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      Posted: October 23, 2015, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

      Are they demonizing the whistleblower?  I read it that the court was telling the corporation to put up or shut up (prove you have legitimate grounds for your suit or go away).  What did I miss?

      What would you call the Wyoming Lottery Corporation pressing charges against Edward Atchison seeking to force him to stop criticizing the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to national lottery groups and other media? I would call it demonizing!

      A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

        TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
        A long and winding road
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        Posted: October 23, 2015, 1:25 pm - IP Logged

        Are they demonizing the whistleblower?  I read it that the court was telling the corporation to put up or shut up (prove you have legitimate grounds for your suit or go away).  What did I miss?

        The "THEY" in this case is the Wyoming Lottery Corporation. So nothing missed, simply mis understood in the context. The Lottery is trying to make an example of this man. Unknown though what specifically was said, that could fall under defamation.

        The Court is playing referee and following protocal that the burden of proof lays with the plaintiff ( Wyoming Lottery).

        ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

         Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
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          Posted: October 23, 2015, 3:01 pm - IP Logged

          What would you call the Wyoming Lottery Corporation pressing charges against Edward Atchison seeking to force him to stop criticizing the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to national lottery groups and other media? I would call it demonizing!

          My take is that the man is an anti-gambling fanatic, looking to harm the state lottery. 

          Think about it this way:  if someone made it their mission to tear YOU apart, spreading unfair and untrue accusations to your place of work, your friends, and your family, don't you think you would want to legally make them stop?

          In most ways, corporations are treated the same as people in the eyes of the law.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            Avatar
            Kentucky
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            February 14, 2006
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            Posted: October 23, 2015, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

            A judge has denied a Cheyenne man's request to dismiss a lawsuit the Wyoming Lottery Corporation is pressing against him that seeks to force him to stop criticizing it to national lottery groups and others.

            The corporation filed a lawsuit this spring protesting that Edward Atchison had written to national groups and Wyoming newspapers saying the lottery needs to do more to address problem gambling. The corporation seeks a court order directing him not to interfere with its business relationships.

            District Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne last week denied Atchison's request to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge ruled the lawsuit gave enough detail to put Atchison on notice of what the corporation's claiming.

            However, Campbell ruled he will hold a hearing Nov. 30 on the corporation's request to amend its lawsuit and will require it to provide more detail about its claims.

            Cheyenne lawyer Tim Kingston represents Atchison. In his request to dismiss the lawsuit, Kingston argued that it amounted to a "SLAPP suit," meaning a "strategic lawsuit against public participation," or a legal action designed to scare people so they won't criticize or oppose an entity.

            "What's important is the judge has said he's going to require the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to flesh out what their claims are, and to provide specific facts of allegedly defamatory statements made by Mr. Atchison, as well as fleshing out the facts of how they were damaged," Kingston said Thursday.

            Kingston said the judge's order means the lottery corporation will have to show what contracts or business relationships it has that might have been impaired by Atchison.

            "We've believed that they don't have any facts that support their claims," he said. "Now they're going to have to put up or shut up."

            The Wyoming Legislature authorized the lottery corporation in 2013, and tickets went on sale last fall. Kingston said it's clear the corporation is a state entity.

            "It was created by the Legislature, authorized by the Legislature, signed by the governor," Kingston said. "I believe they are a state agency or entity, and they have the resources and power of the state. And for a state entity to claim that it's been defamed by a citizen who has First Amendment rights, I think is an outrageous thing and a very chilling thing."

            Cheyenne lawyer Matthew D. Kaufman represents the lottery corporation in the lawsuit. He declined comment Thursday on Campbell's ruling.

            In an interview in March, after the lawsuit was filed, Kaufman said the lottery's action against Atchison is not a "SLAPP suit."

            Kaufman said in March that in order to sell tickets to the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, the Wyoming lottery must be in good standing with organizations such as the Multi-State Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

            Kaufman said in March that Atchison had contacted the national lottery groups and alleged that the Wyoming lottery was not operating according to its statutory mandates. He said Atchison's actions threatened the existence of the lottery, and the lottery felt it had to file the lawsuit to protect itself.

            IMO, both sides are being silly.

            Wyoming only has one state drawn game, but sells MM and PB for a total of 3 games. If somebody is claiming they have a gambling addiction from those two games or the $5 a ticket "Cowboy Draw", there is no hope for them.

            The state lottery officials don't get a pass either because of the First Amendment and what Atchison is saying is absence of malice. And besides Wyoming only has the one drawn game and it's RNG.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
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              Posted: October 23, 2015, 3:54 pm - IP Logged

              IMO, both sides are being silly.

              Wyoming only has one state drawn game, but sells MM and PB for a total of 3 games. If somebody is claiming they have a gambling addiction from those two games or the $5 a ticket "Cowboy Draw", there is no hope for them.

              The state lottery officials don't get a pass either because of the First Amendment and what Atchison is saying is absence of malice. And besides Wyoming only has the one drawn game and it's RNG.

              Agreed all around.

              You can tell the Wyoming Lottery is new:  They still have a thin skin.  Wait until they've been around a few more years and they'll develop that rhinoceros skin that's necessary in order to be in this industry.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                Raven62's avatar - binary
                New Jersey
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                Posted: October 23, 2015, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

                My take is that the man is an anti-gambling fanatic, looking to harm the state lottery. 

                Think about it this way:  if someone made it their mission to tear YOU apart, spreading unfair and untrue accusations to your place of work, your friends, and your family, don't you think you would want to legally make them stop?

                In most ways, corporations are treated the same as people in the eyes of the law.

                It's difficult to say without reading what Atchison said via Social Media or without knowing if he campaigned against the formation of the Wyoming Lottery.

                Unfortunately when it's a State vs a Citizen the Citizen is at a disadvantage because the State has Resources available to it far exceeding what is available to the average Citizen.

                A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                  music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                  Happy California
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                  Posted: October 23, 2015, 5:10 pm - IP Logged

                  This Gordian knot must be cut with the wisdom of Solomon. Thank God for Judges.

                   I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                   Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

                    Bondi Junction
                    Australia
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                    Posted: October 23, 2015, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                    A judge has denied a Cheyenne man's request to dismiss a lawsuit the Wyoming Lottery Corporation is pressing against him that seeks to force him to stop criticizing it to national lottery groups and others.

                    The corporation filed a lawsuit this spring protesting that Edward Atchison had written to national groups and Wyoming newspapers saying the lottery needs to do more to address problem gambling. The corporation seeks a court order directing him not to interfere with its business relationships.

                    District Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne last week denied Atchison's request to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge ruled the lawsuit gave enough detail to put Atchison on notice of what the corporation's claiming.

                    However, Campbell ruled he will hold a hearing Nov. 30 on the corporation's request to amend its lawsuit and will require it to provide more detail about its claims.

                    Cheyenne lawyer Tim Kingston represents Atchison. In his request to dismiss the lawsuit, Kingston argued that it amounted to a "SLAPP suit," meaning a "strategic lawsuit against public participation," or a legal action designed to scare people so they won't criticize or oppose an entity.

                    "What's important is the judge has said he's going to require the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to flesh out what their claims are, and to provide specific facts of allegedly defamatory statements made by Mr. Atchison, as well as fleshing out the facts of how they were damaged," Kingston said Thursday.

                    Kingston said the judge's order means the lottery corporation will have to show what contracts or business relationships it has that might have been impaired by Atchison.

                    "We've believed that they don't have any facts that support their claims," he said. "Now they're going to have to put up or shut up."

                    The Wyoming Legislature authorized the lottery corporation in 2013, and tickets went on sale last fall. Kingston said it's clear the corporation is a state entity.

                    "It was created by the Legislature, authorized by the Legislature, signed by the governor," Kingston said. "I believe they are a state agency or entity, and they have the resources and power of the state. And for a state entity to claim that it's been defamed by a citizen who has First Amendment rights, I think is an outrageous thing and a very chilling thing."

                    Cheyenne lawyer Matthew D. Kaufman represents the lottery corporation in the lawsuit. He declined comment Thursday on Campbell's ruling.

                    In an interview in March, after the lawsuit was filed, Kaufman said the lottery's action against Atchison is not a "SLAPP suit."

                    Kaufman said in March that in order to sell tickets to the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, the Wyoming lottery must be in good standing with organizations such as the Multi-State Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

                    Kaufman said in March that Atchison had contacted the national lottery groups and alleged that the Wyoming lottery was not operating according to its statutory mandates. He said Atchison's actions threatened the existence of the lottery, and the lottery felt it had to file the lawsuit to protect itself.

                    As a supporter of lotteries, I believe people should have the right to criticize lotteries if they wish. I don't know the exact details, but it's not a good look for the lottery.

                    We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                      Posted: October 23, 2015, 7:30 pm - IP Logged

                      I wonder what the guy's username is here on LP!

                      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                      Lep

                      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                        rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                        Texas
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                        Posted: October 23, 2015, 7:53 pm - IP Logged

                        I wonder what the guy's username is here on LP!

                        That's the first thing I thought of is who is he or she?
                        If it is someone on LP, does that person have the guts to come out?

                        CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                        A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

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                          Maryland
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                          Posted: October 23, 2015, 7:54 pm - IP Logged

                          "stop criticizing it to national lottery groups and others."

                          Do we know what he is saying to the other agency's? 

                            itpmguru's avatar - 42a4d4d8f2a4312fb8e253dd8f6ef251
                            No Man's Land
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                            Posted: October 23, 2015, 9:13 pm - IP Logged

                            My take is that the man is an anti-gambling fanatic, looking to harm the state lottery. 

                            Think about it this way:  if someone made it their mission to tear YOU apart, spreading unfair and untrue accusations to your place of work, your friends, and your family, don't you think you would want to legally make them stop?

                            In most ways, corporations are treated the same as people in the eyes of the law.

                            I agree to a certain extent that he may be a an anti-gambling nut, they are out there, but not all are like that and EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion.....are they not?   In the case of NCEL, they want to increase the amount of their advertising budget by 1% (Approx 1/2mil) to drive sales up, but no mention of extra contributions to problem gambling programs (per NCEL Committee minutes). They used to run a "Know when to say when" problem gambling campaign, but have not seen one commercial pertaining to anti-gambling since they made it their mission to increase sales (again in the minutes) and take over the #12 national spot.

                            There are MANY in NC that believe NCEL has corruption/cheating in play.  If they want to haul me into court for accusing them of such, I will have MANY standing next to me and we will say to "Prove otherwise" as they defy laws of mathematics most days.


                            While I am a supporter of legal gambling and reasonable play.........In the end, I believe some lotteries are no different than a large greedy corporation now days.  They will do whatever it takes to make you believe you will win no matter what, while they drain folks pockets while not looking back and all in the name of profit.