Online Lottery Ticket Sales - Illinois To Be First

New service to be launched on March 25

Illinois will become the first state in the US to sell lottery tickets on the Internet starting from March 25. Illinois and New York were the two states mentioned by the US Department of Justice in its December 23rd memo that clarified that the Wire Act of 1961 applies only to sports gambling.

The DoJ turnabout has opened up new possibilities in America, with a number of states now actively discussing the possibility of offering varying forms of online gaming ranging from lottery tickets to online poker.

The State Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones thinks the possibility of buying lottery tickets over the internet will attract some of the 600,000 to 1 million Illinois residents who prefer it but do not play it yet.

He announced the possibility of registering and purchasing tickets for MegaMillions and Lotto, whilst legislation for Powerball is currently awaiting in the General Assembly.

The registration process itself will verify the player's age and purchase of tickets within state boundaries. The user must also use a credit card to fund an account to buy tickets. Player limits may also be set with a limit of $100 per draw per account.

This week Jones expalined: 'The idea is for the state to maximize revenue in an ethical and socially responsible manner. One of the major problems with this lottery and a lot of lotteries in the United States is that it's so narrowly based. A finite group of people play a lot, and what a successful lottery is all about is getting a large number of people to play a little.'

He also estimates that sales of Megamillions tickets could increase by $78 million to $118 million thanks to online lottery sales, and what's more, about half of those funds would go to the state.

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