MOSCOW, March 2 - RAPSI. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals will hear on April 3 the appeal by the state lottery operator, Orglot, against court decision awarding the Sport Ministry $67.21 million, the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/ reported from the court on Friday.

The dispute centers on a state contract signed on November 22, 2006, for a nationwide online Gosloto lottery. The ministry sought to recover funds that Orglot had to pay to the federal budget.

The sports authority established the lottery in 2006 and chose Orglot as its operator. Under the contract, Orglot was obligated to pay at least 50 percent of its income into the prize pool, while 15 percent was to be allocated for the physical culture and sport development program for 2006-2015.

Gazprombank was Orglot's founder, but withdrew from the business in 2007.

A 51 percent stake in the company was then purchased by Sandor Demjan, the president of Hungary's TriGranit. The owners of the other stakes in the company have not been disclosed. The Kommersant newspaper reported in late 2009 that the companies associated with businessman Alexander Varshavsky purchased a 49 percent stake in Orglot.

Varshavsky owns several car dealerships in Moscow selling Ford, Mercedes and Maybach models.