Players of the Arkansas Lottery can now purchase lottery tickets by debit card at retailers where available. It became legal on August 1. Lottery retailers are responsible for paying the debit card transactional fees.
“Overall the feedback from our retailers has been positive. I think as time goes on, more and more will take debit cards. The response from players has been very positive as well,” said Arkansas Lottery Director Bishop Woosley.
Currently, the lottery doesn’t know how many of its retailers accept debit card sales. “We cannot track those sales through our system, so it is difficult to provide an accurate number,” reported Woosley. “That said, I would estimate that possibly half or more of our retailers have begun accepting debit cards since the law changed three weeks ago.”
The lottery does plan to conduct a future survey. “Once some time has passed, we will likely do a survey to determine how many of our retailers are accepting debit,” he added.
Woosley believes offering debit cards for payment will help retailers’ sales. “We have seen an uptick in instant ticket sales that could correlate to the legalization of debit cards to purchase lottery,” he explained.
Since combined traditional and gas convenience stores represent 78% of the lottery’s total retailer network, it is expected that debit card purchases of lottery tickets would be most popular at this particular business class. “The great majority of our retailers are convenience stores so we will see that category being the most popular,” said Woosley.
He also predicted that debit card purchases will increase during the August 2017 Powerball rollup, which ranks as the second largest jackpot in Powerball’s history. “When the multi-state jackpots get this high, you often see first time players purchase lottery tickets,” explained Woosley. “Those who have played before probably are probably more conditioned to have cash and I think the new players will lean towards debit use.”