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Georgia Lottery approves online ticket sales

Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Georgia Lottery approves online ticket sales
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Georgia Lottery officials approved for the first time Thursday an online ticket system, with sales to the public set to begin as soon as November.

The move is expected to increase the Georgia Lottery's revenue by millions of dollars a year — thus helping the state's lottery-funded HOPE Scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs — and positions Georgia among the first states nationwide to officially expand lottery sales to the Internet.

While the lottery's governing board voted unanimously for online sales, the issue is not without controversy.

The Georgia Family Council, which lists faith in God and limited government among its core values on its website, expressed disappointment that sales will be expanded.

A statement from the group characterized the lottery as "inherently exploitative," saying that research shows a disproportionate share of lottery players are minorities with low incomes, while those who benefit most from it are white and from the upper-middle class.

"The fact that our state government runs the lottery and encourages gambling among those who can least afford it is contrary to the very purpose of government, which is to protect people, not to take advantage of them," it said.

But Gov. Nathan Deal — whose opposition has so far doomed a bigger expansion of gambling in Georgia — said Thursday that he was fine with online lottery ticket sales.

"I think that is a useful area to explore," Deal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It does open the participation up to a generation of younger citizens of our state who might not take the time to go to a store to physically purchase a ticket."

Some critics of the move said the board's approval contradicts its stance against expanding legal gambling in Georgia to include casinolike video lottery terminals.

So-called VLTs are still not allowed in Georgia, much to the chagrin of developers of a proposed gaming resort in Gwinnett County.

"I'm glad they are at least in some areas trying to keep up with what other states are doing, but the revenue this [online sales] project is going to bring in is minute to what our project is going to bring in," said developer Dan O'Leary who, with a Delaware casino company, has proposed a $1 billion entertainment complex for a 122-acre industrial site near Norcross.

Backers of the unapproved Gwinnett complex say it and its thousands of VLTs could create 2,500 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs. They say it would generate $350 million a year for the popular HOPE Scholarship and pre-k programs, which are both funded through lottery revenue.

That figure for O'Leary is important because while the Georgia Lottery is one of the most successful in the nation, it cannot keep up with the demand of rising enrollment and tuition costs. That gap exists even as officials for the lottery this week announced it had raised a record $901 million in the 2012 fiscal year for the HOPE and pre-k programs.

Officials said Thursday that the addition of online sales — which will be limited at first to Powerball, Mega Millions and Fantasy 5 — would amount to about 2 percent of annual existing sales of those games, although they could not provide an exact estimate. They also felt comfortable with technological controls they can place on players who buy tickets online.

Those controls include mandatory registration, banking requirements that would match an applicant's name, address and Social Security number, and limits on how much account activity or playing time will be allowed. IP addresses will be monitored to assure players buy the tickets only in Georgia. No out-of-state sales are allowed. Players must be at least 18 years old.

"This is not a silver bullet, but the long-term potential to this is very large," Georgia Lottery Board Chairman Jimmy Braswell said. "It really is just a change in our existing business model to reach a new set of players" who are Internet-savvy, he said.

Online lottery sales became possible last year, after the U.S. Justice Department reversed itself and said the national Wire Act of 1961 applies only to sports betting. The act otherwise prohibits placing bets over telecommunications systems across state or national boundaries.

With the restriction gone, Illinois at the end of March became the first state to sell lottery tickets online. States such as Delaware have approved the process but have yet to start it. Eight to 12 other states are actively working on it, according to state and national gaming officials.

The effect of online sales on convenience and retail stores already selling lottery tickets is unknown, although lottery officials offered a bit of a carrot to those merchants Thursday with approval of a new debit card for both lottery and retail transactions.

Branded as the lottery's "iHOPE" card, it will allow players to preload funds, buy tickets and have their winnings automatically downloaded into the card's account — instead of going to a store for cash on hand. It can be used any place that accepts debit cards for regular retail transactions. Stores that sell lottery tickets will not face debit card transaction fees for lottery sales through the iHOPE card.

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AJC

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19 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Summer404.
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United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 20, 2012, 8:39 am - IP Logged

The floodgate is about to burst, soon all states will follow. The prophecy shall be fulfilled. Embrace the future now.

    Ga $'s avatar - yocco
    Georgia
    United States
    Member #91693
    May 23, 2010
    157 Posts
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    Posted: July 20, 2012, 8:40 am - IP Logged

    Party

     

    WTG Ga!

    I Play Cash 3 to Win!Party


      United States
      Member #124498
      March 14, 2012
      7024 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 20, 2012, 8:51 am - IP Logged

      The floodgate is about to burst, soon all states will follow. The prophecy shall be fulfilled. Embrace the future now.

      You mean this prophecy??Evil Looking

      I am looking forward to online gambling in new york...

      i am going to visit the doctor and get a USB port implanted into my brain...

      I will visit the lottery website...and i wont even have to type in my numbers...

      All i will have to do is think of the numbers and they will flow down the Usb cable into the computer. 

      I want to dream of electric sheep!!Bed

      The Ihope card is a good idea to keep some business in the stores...as when i go to put cash on my debit card, i might buy a real ticket at the same time...

      The merchant can swipe the debit card across my forehead and thus depositing my winnings directly into my brain...

      when i get home i then plug the USB cable back into my head and then the funds can be used for more gambling.


        United States
        Member #111446
        May 25, 2011
        6323 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 20, 2012, 9:15 am - IP Logged

        You mean this prophecy??Evil Looking

        I am looking forward to online gambling in new york...

        i am going to visit the doctor and get a USB port implanted into my brain...

        I will visit the lottery website...and i wont even have to type in my numbers...

        All i will have to do is think of the numbers and they will flow down the Usb cable into the computer. 

        I want to dream of electric sheep!!Bed

        The Ihope card is a good idea to keep some business in the stores...as when i go to put cash on my debit card, i might buy a real ticket at the same time...

        The merchant can swipe the debit card across my forehead and thus depositing my winnings directly into my brain...

        when i get home i then plug the USB cable back into my head and then the funds can be used for more gambling.

        Indeed Boner! Hard wired brains will become the obvious next stage, for all those wishing to be light years ahead of the curve.

        Think of the incredible advances and conveniences that Americans could now enjoy! Driving while texting, while placing your bets on-line, while

        enjoying your favorite latte,........ the list is endless!  Idea

         


          United States
          Member #124498
          March 14, 2012
          7024 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 20, 2012, 9:24 am - IP Logged

          Green laugh  "Bones I tell you I been playing that number str8 for light years...then the day we get those photon torpedos up the yazoo...bam...1701 pops, i did not get a chance to plug in...where is the logic?"

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
            United States
            Member #66141
            October 16, 2008
            1444 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 20, 2012, 10:08 am - IP Logged

            While being convenient ........... this could be bad for those with a gambling addiction ................ I hope that it is not bad for people .................

            As always, things move forward with new innovations! Very nice if you are out of town and want to play your State's Lottery. Could be bad for vendors though .......... I am curious to see the results of this new process.

            Type

            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

             

            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #128378
              May 22, 2012
              188 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 20, 2012, 11:47 am - IP Logged

              Wish the Georgia Lottery would allow Alabama (and maybe Mississippi) players to buy tickets online.  Saves the long trip.  But it's limited to Georgia only for a good reason, I'm sure.

                maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

                United States
                Member #124621
                March 16, 2012
                1476 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 20, 2012, 12:20 pm - IP Logged

                "But Gov. Nathan Deal — whose opposition has so far doomed a bigger expansion of gambling in Georgia — said Thursday that he was fine with online lottery ticket sales.

                "I think that is a useful area to explore," Deal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It does open the participation up to a generation of younger citizens of our state who might not take the time to go to a store to physically purchase a ticket."

                ........

                "This is not a silver bullet, but the long-term potential to this is very large," Georgia Lottery Board Chairman Jimmy Braswell said. "It really is just a change in our existing business model to reach a new set of players" who are Internet-savvy, he said."

                 ----

                Where the change/difference will really come into play is when the online playing is not restricted to residents of that state... THEN there will really be a statement made as Delaware will SWEEP the nation in a flood of online players who all crave anonymity... at THAT point the anonymous versus 'full-disclosure' argument will really come to a head!

                  ressuccess's avatar - WhiteShyGuy

                  United States
                  Member #93166
                  June 23, 2010
                  835 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 20, 2012, 1:59 pm - IP Logged

                  Good luck to the people buying online ticket sales in Georgia.

                    RedStang's avatar - Malsingha
                    Peter Patel is innocent.
                    United States
                    Member #121966
                    January 21, 2012
                    2619 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 20, 2012, 2:20 pm - IP Logged

                    They should put the same screen the clerks see online so everyone can pick what they want to play.

                      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                      Oklahoma
                      United States
                      Member #82391
                      November 12, 2009
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                      Posted: July 21, 2012, 7:43 am - IP Logged

                      Thumbs Up

                      I Love Pink & Green 1908


                        United States
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                        February 19, 2009
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                        Posted: July 21, 2012, 8:43 am - IP Logged

                        Personally I think we should be able to buy from any state we want.I sure wouldnt buy from here.Nor would half more of the Tennesseans.I can see why Alabama and Mississippi folks go to Georgia and not stopping here.....


                          United States
                          Member #111446
                          May 25, 2011
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                          Posted: July 21, 2012, 12:15 pm - IP Logged

                          Personally I think we should be able to buy from any state we want.I sure wouldnt buy from here.Nor would half more of the Tennesseans.I can see why Alabama and Mississippi folks go to Georgia and not stopping here.....

                          Can the Tennessee Lottery System be assimilated by other neighboring states? If that could be the case, all the existing lottery outlets in Tennessee,

                          could be the "new" point of purchase terminals, for either the Alabama, Georgia or Mississippi lotteries.

                           

                          Sounds like the Tennessee Lottery System needs to go.....and quickly.  Chair

                           

                            maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #124621
                            March 16, 2012
                            1476 Posts
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                            Posted: July 21, 2012, 5:37 pm - IP Logged

                            the borg?  really?  lolol