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Illinois picks right week to start selling tickets online

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois picks right week to start selling tickets online
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But online sales still dwarfed by retailer sales

With a record $540 million Mega Millions jackpot in play, Illinois picked the right week to become the first state in the nation to sell lottery tickets online. Others are watching closely to see if the new approach pays off and whether the state takes the next big step: launching online poker, blackjack and other casino games.

It took only three minutes for the first online lottery ticket to sell once the system went live at 7 a.m. Sunday. By Thursday evening, more than $425,000 worth of tickets had been sold online, and officials expected sales to increase by the hour as people take their shot at Friday night's record prize.

Internet sales on Thursday alone amounted to just more than $64,000 by evening, while the day's retail sales topped $3.2 million.

Illinois is the first state to put its lottery on the Internet in the three months since the U.S. Justice Department reversed its previous stance barring states from conducting online gambling. The department's ruling goes far beyond tickets, however, and opens the door to states offering virtually any form of gambling, except on sports.

Other states are so far hedging their bets. Al Larsen, spokesman for Indiana's Hoosier Lottery, said several lotteries began taking steps toward online sales after the Justice decision, but Indiana is so far just keeping an eye on its neighbor to the west.

"That's all we're doing, just monitoring it right now," Larsen said.

Gambling experts wonder whether the next move would be launching a state-sponsored virtual casino that could rake in huge sums. New Jersey and Nevada already are exploring the idea. Illinois officials say they aren't going that direction — yet.

Lottery superintendent Michael Jones says gambling policy is set by the governor and lawmakers, and they haven't told him to explore online casino games. But Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat who is generally cool to gambling expansion, has not publicly ruled out the idea.

"If we can enhance lottery revenues in a prudent way, so be it," Quinn said earlier this week when asked about adding more online games.

Online gambling, from lottery tickets to Texas Hold 'em, only adds to gambling opponents' worries. They fear people will find it far too tempting to enter their credit card number and gamble away money they can't afford to lose.

"This is the first expansion. The next expansion will be the scratch-off tickets. Once people get scratch off tickets, there is no stopping. This is opening a Pandora's box," said Anita Bedell, director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems.

Some prominent Illinois lawmakers are intrigued by the possibility of online gambling.

AP

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8 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by redhot9.
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Avatar
Texas
United States
Member #111061
May 17, 2011
32 Posts
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Posted: March 30, 2012, 8:38 am - IP Logged

Yeah, but it looks like I picked the wrong week to quit stiffing glue!

 

Quarter of a Billion, after tax, here I come!!!

    Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
    RIGHT HERE!!
    United States
    Member #123295
    February 17, 2012
    2085 Posts
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    Posted: March 30, 2012, 9:24 am - IP Logged

    How does this work? They mail you tickets?

    Now they may add scratch offs, how is this done online?

      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
      S.E.Iowa
      United States
      Member #120509
      December 21, 2011
      534 Posts
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      Posted: March 30, 2012, 9:26 am - IP Logged

      I'd hate to think that I was so addicted to gambling that I'd resort to online gambling.

      When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

      There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        21439 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 30, 2012, 9:31 am - IP Logged

        Yeah, but it looks like I picked the wrong week to quit stiffing glue!

         

        Quarter of a Billion, after tax, here I come!!!

        One of the greatest lines from a great movie! Smile

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          Listens to the wind

          United States
          Member #81740
          October 28, 2009
          18739 Posts
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          Posted: March 30, 2012, 9:34 am - IP Logged

          Others will see this and follow suit.

          There's only one US Flag

            Avatar
            New Member

            United States
            Member #124753
            March 19, 2012
            5 Posts
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            Posted: March 30, 2012, 11:21 am - IP Logged

            How does this work? They mail you tickets?

            Now they may add scratch offs, how is this done online?

            Its pretty simple. Ive bought tickets two seperate times now online.

            You sign up for an account and give them your usual info and you have to give them your SSN as well. After you confirm your account you can add money to your lottery account through a credit card or through a banking account. To use the banking account you have to verify it which takes a few days because the Illinois Lotto makes microtransactions on your account (the few days part) and then you have to go back and enter those amounts for the verification.

            They also send you a Visa Debit card to use. This will have on it any money you win or put in to your account from your bank or credit card. From the faq, "Winnings of $600 or less are automatically deposited into your account. Winnings over $600 will be processed by the Illinois Lottery Claims department. You'll receive an email to notify them to complete the claim process."

            If you win a big amount I am not sure if you have to claim it as yourself or if you are able to form a trust or llc.

            So far the only games we are able to play are Mega Millions and the regular Illinois Lotto. You pick your game, pick the number of  draws you want, pick your numbers or quick pick them, check the box saying your an Illinois resident and voila! You have your tickets :) They will be listed in your account and you can also have them send an email to you telling your numbers.

              liberal47's avatar - Rowlf
              Holt MI
              United States
              Member #2244
              September 4, 2003
              69 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 30, 2012, 5:55 pm - IP Logged

              I filled out a survey for the Michigan Lottery the other day, and  some of the questions point to them issuing a debit card type of system with a daily limit. As I filled out the survey I could see the great possibilities. I imagine they are watching the Illinois experiment right now but I'd bet on online gaming in Michigan before the end of the year! It would be about time no more waiting in line or having to take turns with other customers who see lottery players as a nusience when all they want is a tank of gas or gallon of milk.

                Avatar
                New Member
                Beverly Hills, CA
                United States
                Member #73835
                April 26, 2009
                1 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 4, 2012, 9:55 am - IP Logged

                Its pretty simple. Ive bought tickets two seperate times now online.

                You sign up for an account and give them your usual info and you have to give them your SSN as well. After you confirm your account you can add money to your lottery account through a credit card or through a banking account. To use the banking account you have to verify it which takes a few days because the Illinois Lotto makes microtransactions on your account (the few days part) and then you have to go back and enter those amounts for the verification.

                They also send you a Visa Debit card to use. This will have on it any money you win or put in to your account from your bank or credit card. From the faq, "Winnings of $600 or less are automatically deposited into your account. Winnings over $600 will be processed by the Illinois Lottery Claims department. You'll receive an email to notify them to complete the claim process."

                If you win a big amount I am not sure if you have to claim it as yourself or if you are able to form a trust or llc.

                So far the only games we are able to play are Mega Millions and the regular Illinois Lotto. You pick your game, pick the number of  draws you want, pick your numbers or quick pick them, check the box saying your an Illinois resident and voila! You have your tickets :) They will be listed in your account and you can also have them send an email to you telling your numbers.

                do you have to be an Illinois resident to be able to buy these tickets online?