Minnesota Lawmakers Oppose State Lottery Moving into Online Gambling

Tempers are flaring in Minnesota as lawmakers complain that the director of the state lottery overstepped boundaries with his decision to launch limited forms of online ticket buying and scratchcard games online.

Rep Ann Lenczewski pressed the House Tax Committee to support a proposal to prevent the state lottery from progressing within the online betting arena.

The director of the state lottery, Ed Van Patten said: "There is no research, no evidence, and I haven't heard really any allegation of fact that this has harmed anybody, or will harm anybody.'

"That's where retail is going. You have to have yourself out there on the Internet so people can see what your product is," he said.

Brian Rusche, speaking for the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, said: "I don't believe voters ever foresaw that this would become a lottery terminal."

Jake Grassel of Citizens Against Gambling Expansion showed support to Rusche saying: "It is an instant lottery, instant gratification, which we kind of believe is more like an online slot machine."

The Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association Spokesman Bill Strusinski said: "We want our customers, frankly, to come into the store, to buy a lottery ticket or scratch-offs."

The committee had not voted on Tuesday and the House Commerce Committee will hear testimony regarding the bill on Thursday.

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