Pacific Based Lottery Raises Legality Issue

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Pacific Based Lottery Raises Legality Issue


The first article published on the legal dispute of Palmyra's use as a base of operations for an international lottery. Details are given on the defendants and their grounds, as well as how the lottery tickets were to be sold and distributed.



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PASADENA — UPI — The United States Interior Department and officials of a world-wide lottery based on Palmyra Island in the Pacific today apparently disagreed on legality of the operation.

It was learned yesterday the American Sweepstakes Corporation, which was defeated by California voters last November in its bid to establish a lottery here, had set up operations on Palmyra, 970 miles south of Hawaii and north of Tahiti and Samoa.

John Paul Brown, attorney and spokesman for the lottery company, insists it is legal. However, an interior department spokesman in Washington is reported to have said it is not.

The spokesman is said to have added that the jurisdiction of the US District Court in Hawaii will be extended to stop the lottery.

Earmark Funds

Brown said 25 per cent of the receipts from the lottery tickets are earmarked for the American Cancer Research Foundation, an organization in the process of being established.

He added the City of Hope, a cancer research hospital in Duarte, Los Angeles County, already had agreed to provide a member of the board of ACRF. The charitable organization's headquarters would in Los Angeles..

The attorney said about 20,000 books of tickets have keen distributed from Palmyra to the British Isles, Italy and Spain. Eventually, he said, the tickets would be sent to Japan, Australia and about 22 other nations throughout the world.

Based On Derby

The tickets are part of 120,000 books being sold for the first drawing. Brown said the tickets, based on the running of the Kentucky Derby - but not affiliated with the famed classic - are being sold for $3 each.

Brown said money taken in now by the lottery that normally would be budgeted for the ACRF would be held in trust in "kindred” institutions. He named the City of Hope as one such institution.

Palmyra Island currently is under a 79 year lease by the Tidewater Development Corporation of Los Angeles and is privately owned.

Original Format




“Pacific Based Lottery Raises Legality Issue,” Palmyra Archive, accessed July 6, 2020,