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Internet lottery sales one step closer in Georgia

Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Internet lottery sales one step closer in Georgia

Georgia took its first step towards allowing lottery players to purchase tickets over the Internet.

The Georgia House approved a measure Thursday that would allow the Georgia Lottery to set up online accounts for Internet lottery ticket purchases.  In this manner, players could use debit cards to instruct a computer to play their favorite numbers, without visiting a traditional retailer.

Under the plan, players would go to an existing lottery retailer and fill out an application, where they'd have to pay $3 and prove they were at least 18 years old.  After getting approval by the state, players could then use a debit card to add money to an online account, directing their computer to automatically play their lucky numbers.

Republican sponsors say the online option would boost lottery funds just when the lottery sales are starting to dip.  Sales in Georgia dropped $4.1 million during the first half of the budget year, down to $1.3 billion.

Rep. Terry Barnard, sponsor of the bill, said new strategies are needed to fuel lottery growth.  Barnard envisions a day when the Georgia Lottery would also develop online-only games as a way to compete with popular online poker and other games.

"What makes a lottery successful is the ability to market new ideas, new games, new tickets.  That in itself keeps more interest in the program," said Barnard, R-Glennville.

The bill now goes to the Georgia Senate for consideration, where support is uncertain.

Doubts have been raised by the Georgia Lottery over the plan, including the possibility that the plan is structured in such a way that it would violate federal gaming laws.

Even though the bill simply allows the lottery to explore online gaming -- it doesn't require it -- the bill does outline how online lottery accounts would be managed if created.
 
"While the idea of purchasing lottery tickets on the Internet is not necessarily new, there's some uncertainty in regard to federal law," said Georgia Lottery spokesman J.B. Landroche.

A similar bill was introduced last year, but never voted on.  Besides the legal questions, the bill was tripped up amid concerns it would make it easier for people to gamble themselves into debt.  Currently the lottery is cash-only, with the thinking that it makes it tougher for people to buy more tickets than they can afford.

Another glitch was the lottery retailers, who feared they'd lose business to the Internet.  This year, the bill includes a provision that a percentage of online spending would be shared with the retailer where the player got the application to play online.

Because of that change, convenience stores now say they're neutral on the bill.  Jim Tudor, lobbyist for the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores, said the bill isn't intended to cannibalize traditional sales.

"The core customer this bill is reaching out to may or may not be playing the lottery now," Tudor said.

Barnard acknowledged the many criticisms of his bill, but said his bold idea would keep the Georgia Lottery one step ahead of struggling lotteries in other states.

Several states have considered online sales, but none has adopted such a plan.

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9 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Todd.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
Member #7853
October 15, 2004
11334 Posts
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Posted: March 14, 2005, 3:10 pm - IP Logged

i think its a good idea.

    Avatar
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    Member #1265
    March 13, 2003
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    Posted: March 14, 2005, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

    A behind the idea 100% .... can't happen soon enough in my book!! 

             

    Good luck to everyone!


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
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      Posted: March 14, 2005, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

      Better Georgia than NY.

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        United States
        Member #1826
        July 11, 2003
        2645 Posts
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        Posted: March 14, 2005, 5:33 pm - IP Logged

        The question is, can out-of-state players participate.

        (insert signature here)

          JAP69's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
          South Carolina
          United States
          Member #6
          November 4, 2001
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          Posted: March 14, 2005, 5:44 pm - IP Logged

           

          The article mentioned that it is cash only to purchase lottery tickets at the store. What is to stop anyone from getting cash at an atm machine at the store to pay cash for the tickets at the register.

          I wonder also if out of staters can get in on it. How many travelers go thru Ga that may want to sign up for this.

          Stats hunting: Type


            United States
            Member #11761
            February 23, 2005
            174 Posts
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            Posted: March 14, 2005, 6:15 pm - IP Logged

            So who gets a percentage of the prize if a winning ticket is sold online? I thought one of the reasons of the lottery was to help local businesses. You would think the local retailers would be against this.



            Also, phishers could make clones of the lottery site and trick people into giving out their debit card number.



            This is just a waste of state resources if you ask me, hopefully they get in trouble with federal gaming laws.

              fxdwg's avatar - animal bear.jpg

              United States
              Member #2870
              November 25, 2003
              76 Posts
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              Posted: March 14, 2005, 11:31 pm - IP Logged
              Quote: Originally posted by jsk2001 on March 14, 2005




              Also, phishers could make clones of the lottery site and trick people into giving out their debit card number.

              This is just a waste of state resources if you ask me, hopefully they get in trouble with federal gaming laws.


               A very good point -----jsk---- I had not given it much thought until you brought up the phisher thing
                twisted's avatar - underground
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #2376
                September 25, 2003
                582 Posts
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                Posted: March 15, 2005, 12:03 am - IP Logged
                Quote: Originally posted by jsk2001 on March 14, 2005

                So who gets a percentage of the prize if a winning ticket is sold online? I thought one of the reasons of the lottery was to help local businesses. You would think the local retailers would be against this.



                ........




                "Another glitch was the lottery retailers, who feared they'd lose business to the Internet. This year, the bill includes a provision that a percentage of online spending would be shared with the retailer where the player got the application to play online."



                Also, browsers like Mozilla Firefox help the users against such "clone" websites. Read this article at CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/03/03/mozilla.security.ap/index.html



                And if you are really worried about scamsters or hackers obtaining your sensitive information, such as credit card #'s and bank account #'s, then you should refrain from using such information online altogether.



                Atleast we should have the option to play lotteries online. If someone doesnt want to play the lottery online for whatever reason, they shouldnt do so. I for one would like to be able to play lotteries online.
                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  21525 Posts
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                  Posted: March 16, 2005, 10:37 am - IP Logged
                  Quote: Originally posted by JAP69 on March 14, 2005



                   

                  The article mentioned that it is cash only to purchase lottery tickets at the store. What is to stop anyone from getting cash at an atm machine at the store to pay cash for the tickets at the register.

                  I wonder also if out of staters can get in on it. How many travelers go thru Ga that may want to sign up for this.




                  They are more worried about credit cards than ATM cards, since ATM cards require you to have the cash on-hand, whereas credit cards allow you to rack up debt.

                   

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