Online Lottery Ticket Sales
Buying lottery tickets online is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. Traditionally, lottery tickets were purchased in person, but the advent of smartphones has made it easier for lottery buyers to purchase tickets. While the majority of states have websites that offer lottery ticket sales, only a few have adopted this service. Some states offer the same games in both physical and online formats. The online option may be the better choice for some.
The first state to offer online lottery ticket sales was Minnesota. This was followed by Illinois and Georgia. The Illinois lottery website first offered online lottery tickets in December 2012. Later, they added daily lottery games and instant games. The site also included Powerball tickets.
While the legality of online lottery tickets is still under debate, there are six states that offer online lottery opportunities. These states include Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These states offer a range of lottery games including instant win games, jackpot games, and other types of lottery games. Some states offer multistate draws, while others have limited offerings. Several Northeastern states are currently working on legalizing online lotteries.
Despite the fad, purchasing lottery tickets online does pose risks. Because the lottery tickets are purchased online, it is difficult to know that the tickets are not sold to minors. This is one of the reasons that states are reluctant to offer this service. Another concern is that it may reduce traffic at retail locations. Another stumbling block is that lottery retailers must post a large bond in order to sell lottery tickets online.
In the United States, there is no federal law prohibiting the sale of lottery tickets online. However, states have taken the position that they are prohibited by the Wire Act, a federal law governing electronic transactions. Several states have asked for an opinion regarding this, and the Justice Department has ruled that the Wire Act does not prohibit the sale of online lottery tickets.
The main reason states are cautious about online lottery ticket sales is because it may decrease traffic at retail locations. Besides, it’s not clear that online lotteries will be profitable for state governments. While the lottery does generate a fair amount of tax revenue, state governments don’t want to lose money on lottery ticket sales.
The easiest way to buy lottery tickets online is through a state’s official lottery website. These websites usually have a few features that make them stand out, including a search for other games and a link to a retail sportsbook. Aside from the search function, the main utility of an online lottery website is to show winning numbers and locations of lottery stores. However, some states require that lottery retailers be licensed by the state.
The Pennsylvania lottery has recently introduced an online version of its games, and has tried to make its offerings as enticing as possible. The site offers a range of games, including several draw games, scratchers, and state-based games. In addition, the site includes a link to the only legal online sportsbook.