CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A state judge is giving the Wyoming Lottery Corporation 15 days to amend its lawsuit that seeks to block a local man from criticizing the corporation.
The corporation filed a lawsuit this spring against Edward Atchison of Cheyenne. The suit alleges that Atchison told national lottery groups the corporation wasn't following its statutory mandates and needs to do more to address problem gambling.
The Wyoming Legislature authorized the corporation in 2013. Tickets went on sale last year.
Cheyenne lawyer Tim Kingston represents Atchison. Kingston has said it's outrageous for a state entity to sue a citizen for exercising their free speech rights.
Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne has denied Atchison's request to dismiss the suit. (See Judge: Wyoming Lottery lawsuit against man can continue, Lottery Post, Oct. 23, 2015.)
Campbell on Monday gave the corporation 15 days to provide more detail about its claims.
Atchison is the director of a small group called the Wyoming Council on Problem Gambling. He's written letters to newspapers around the state and to national groups saying the Wyoming Lottery needs to do more to address problem gambling.
The corporation maintains that Atchison has told national groups that it's not operating according to its statutory mandates.
The corporation further contends that in order to sell tickets to multistate games including Powerball and Mega Millions, it must be in good standing with organizations such as the Multi-State Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial lotteries.
Kingston, meanwhile, has argued the legal action amounts 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.