Earlier this month, the Mifal Hapayis national lottery had no choice but to turn off the automated games of chance, after negotiations with the treasury to renew its operating license failed to yield an agreement. However, a court ruling has put them back in business.
The order, issued by Justice Yoram Danzinger, came a week after the slot and Keno machines were shut down at the behest of the Finance Ministry, which is conditioning renewing Mifal Hapayis’ operating license on its shutting down the 650 or so machines it operates around the country.
But Mifal Hapayis franchisees, who operate the machines, as well as sell lottery tickets and sports-betting services, petitioned the High Court, saying that the machines were shut down without prior notice and this had seriously harmed their incomes.
“Bettors continue to gamble but instead of the money going to Mifal Hapayis, which builds schools, it’s going into the pockets of loan sharks of the underworld,” said a lawyer for the petitioners. “The treasury may want to save gamblers, but it’s causing them to sink deeper into the mud with loans from the gray market.”