Several senior lawmakers in Texas claim that the state’s lottery commission might be breaching a 32-year-old established state law by allowing online ticket sales for games such as Lotto Texas, Powerball, and Mega Millions. Gary Grief, denies that the agency is selling tickets online, saying: “The Texas lottery does not sell any tickets (or) any products over apps, over the telephone, over the internet, period,” Grief said.
“Courier companies” are purchasing tickets for online players after partnering with authorized retailers. “We don’t see any violation of our statute in what these entities are doing,” Grief replied.
Anti-gambling lobbyists believe that removing the wording “physically present at the terminal” in June 2020 inherently changes the way draw games are played. Grief said the wording, “present at the terminal,” was removed to respond to customer service requirements and not as an invite to courier companies.
State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), filed Senate Bill 1820, introducing a “rider,” clarifying statement in the still-being-crafted 2024-25 state budget:
“The executive director shall not allow the order, purchase, or sale of a lottery game by telephone or digitally by mobile telephone, including a game’s facilitation via an application on a mobile telephone or Internet website by an independent third-party courier,” the bill says.
- The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has launched a new mobile app named AR Lottery + Club. The app has been designed to make it easier for users to play the lottery, check their tickets, and access the loyalty program, the Club. Lottery officials said that the new app saw over 100,000 tickets being checked in the first week alone, and a 31% increase in new users compared to the previous week. The app also enables biometric login and digital playslips. Lottery players cannot purchase tickets via the mobile app currently. The lottery has said it will require legislation authorising it to launch an iLottery digital platform to sell tickets.
- The North Carolina Education Lottery has expanded its online offerings with the addition of Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, available for up to 14 upcoming draws. The games complement the Lottery’s existing online draw games, which include Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Carolina Cash 5. The platform is powered by NPi’s NeoDraw Interactive Central Gaming System.
- The New York Lottery has announced that the deadline to purchase Mega Millions tickets will be changed from 10:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. starting from 4 April. The change is aimed at allowing lottery officials to conduct closing procedures for each draw, but the lottery said the change is operational and will not affect players.
- The Française des jeux has launched a new game called “Club Color,” which is part of the Illiko games. The game features neon-colored pictograms that give it an 80s vibe. The game is available in both paper and digital versions since March 27, 2023.
- West Virginia Lottery officials are working on launching iLottery which will allow users to play Powerball, Mega Millions, and other games online using their mobile devices. The goal is to integrate the iLottery into the existing system of buying and cashing in tickets to boost sales and meet public demand for mobile device purchases. Lottery officials expect the iLottery to be available to the public in about a year. Other states that have implemented similar systems have seen growth in-store sales as well.
- A proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by Assemblyman Cameron (C.H.) Miller (D-North Las Vegas), AJR5, would repeal Nevada’s 159-year-old constitutional ban on lotteries. Miller said that the revenue generated by a lottery would be directed towards youth mental health programs. As with any constitutional amendment originating in the Legislature, AJR5 must pass two successive legislative sessions and then be approved by a simple majority of voters at the next general election before implementation. Nevada is unique among the five states without a statewide lottery. While gaming industry leaders do not believe a Nevada lottery would provide the revenue stream proponents are touting, Miller believes the resolution has a good chance of being successful. However, gaming insiders have suggested the first lottery ticket sales from a Nevada retailer could be years away.
- New Hampshire’s bill to expand gambling is advancing, but online slots have been removed from the legislation. The Senate Finance Committee adopted an amendment on 21 March, with a final Senate vote expected on 28 March. The amendment is expected to cut revenue from online casinos by half, as a fiscal note had projected $31.5m in tax revenue annually in the third year of implementation. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission would choose online casino operators through a competitive bidding process.
- A bill that would create an amendment in the Arkansas state constitution to allow the use of money from the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship for vocational schools has been proposed by Rep. Robin Lundstrum. The amendment is needed because vocational schools were not included when the original amendment was created to allow lottery scholarship funding, said former State Senator Shane Broadway, who testified in support of the bill. Lundstrum said additional vocational training could help alleviate the state’s labour shortage. The bill was discussed at a House Committee on State Agencies and Government Affairs hearing.
- Pollard Banknote Limited’s subsidiary, mkodo limited, has partnered with Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) to upgrade and enhance the Lottery’s existing website. The objective of the new website was to provide an enhanced user experience across desktop and mobile and to make purchasing tickets a seamless and secure experience for players. mkodo supported PLI with the implementation of Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a transactional technology that facilitates speedy and secure payments for players using the Lottery’s new web and mobile products.
- Svenska Spel, the Swedish state-owned gambling company, has reported that there has been no increase in risky gambling among its customers despite the ongoing financial vulnerability and recession. Instead, there has been a slight decrease in risky gambling compared to the same period last year. The company attributes this decrease to the measures it has introduced in recent years to promote responsible gambling. However, Svenska Spel’s Head of Sustainability, Kajsa Nylander, notes that the company cannot afford to be complacent, and it has increased its focus on “game check conversations” with new customers who have shown changes in their playing patterns. While the company is pleased with the figures, it acknowledges that it is just one player in the gaming market and that it cannot draw general conclusions about risk gambling among the population at large based solely on its data.
- Two more businesses have been given the green light to be considered for a sports betting licence in Maryland, according to the state’s Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. One of the businesses, Whitman Gaming, is planning to open a sportsbook in a bar in North Bethesda with Betfair Interactive US, or FanDuel, as its sports wagering operator. The Veterans Services Corp. has also been approved for a mobile sports wagering licence. Both firms still require approval from the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, and will also have to complete controlled demonstrations with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission before accepting bets.