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Illinois lawmakers debate Internet lottery sales

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois lawmakers debate Internet lottery sales

If store lines have kept you from the big bucks possible in playing the state lottery, a Chicago senator has the solution - just buy the tickets online.

Democrat State Sen. John Cullerton has proposed a bill to make lottery tickets available for sale on the Internet, something he says will attract more customers with bigger pocketbooks and possibly collect more money for schools. Senate Bill 198 is currently on the floor, but some Southern Illinois legislators say they're not ready to expand gaming in any form, particularly State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, who just last week called for the elimination of all riverboat casinos in Illinois.

"I've made the statement before I'm not going to vote for any new gambling," Bradley said.

Cullerton argues the measure isn't an expansion, because it doesn't increase the state lottery operations, just markets to a larger customer base.

Bradley said he doesn't see things the same.

"We just have to disagree on that," he said. "The reason this is being proposed is because it's going to generate more money for the state, which means more gambling."

Bradley said he is certain selling lottery tickets online would generate more sales, but either way, he is opposed to the idea.

Other legislators join Bradley in his skepticism of Cullerton's bill.

"The first thought I have is, how do you regulate that with minors?" State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Norris City, said. "It seems to me there would be a lot of minors that could get on the computer and try to buy tickets."

State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, said he is wary of the bill for the same reasons.

"My first impression would be, no," Forby said.

State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, said the measure sounds like an expansion of gambling, which he has always stood against.

"My first instinct is to say it is an expansion, but I would like to at least look at it before I would say offhand I would vote against it," Luechtefeld said.

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, who also opposes gambling expansion, said he understands that Cullerton wants the lottery to reach a bigger market, but he is not sure there are more customers out there.

"I'm almost convinced with our gambling in Illinois, with the riverboats or with the lottery, we're reaching everyone who wants to gamble," Bost said.

Cullerton said the Internet has been able to reach a wide audience for other businesses. Why not the lottery, he asks.

"Internet sales are growing at a dramatic rate," Cullerton said. "This is the wave of the future, and we need to get on board."

Cullerton said the lottery needs to tap a wider and more diverse market. He said 20 percent of adults buy lottery tickets and a disproportionate number of them are poor.

The state lottery generated $570 million last year for Illinois education. Cullerton said if the state could reach at least 10 percent more of the people, it could generate an additional $45 million. He said the Department of Revenue would work out the details of the online system, and Internet sales would start out being used only for the big games each week.

Local legislators question using a gambling system to create education funding, but Cullerton said lottery players don't generally become the same types of addicts associated with other forms of gambling.

"There's a big difference between purchasing a lottery ticket and going to a casino," Cullerton said.

Mark Dixon, a Southern Illinois University Carbondale associate professor and coordinator of the Behavior Analysis and Therapy program in the Rehabilitation Institute, says gambling addictions can take many forms - even through purchasing lottery tickets.

"But, at the same time, that's only a small subset of the people who do that," he said. "Many people buy a couple of lottery tickets a week without a problem."

Dixon and another university professor are currently researching and counseling problem gamblers, offering assessments and treatments to people.

He said many people make a mistake in assuming people gamble to get rich. Dixon said some individuals do it for excitement, some because they are unhappy with other aspects of their life. Dixon also said, depending on the treatment they received, some people sink back into an excessive gambling lifestyle fairly quickly.

Dixon said it is not particularly difficult for people to get a lottery ticket right now, so he doesn't understand why the state feels the need to make them available from a person's home computer.

"I think it will increase revenues, but will it increase pathological gambling proportionally? That remains to be seen," Dixon said.

Southern

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8 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
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Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
FEMA Region V Camp #21
United States
Member #520
July 27, 2002
5699 Posts
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Posted: March 8, 2005, 5:07 pm - IP Logged

Well I am definitely going to comment on this story.  The population of IL is approx. 25 million.  One half of this population lives in the Northeast quadrant of IL. 

However, in the story, EVERY SINGLE OBJECTION is coming from rural "representatives" in districts at opposite ends of the state. 

Are these guys afraid that on-line lottery betting will interfere with their illegal Bingo games (wink,wink) at the local county fair? (the proceeds of which do NOT go into the state education budget).

If it weren't for the lottery players in Northeastern IL, there would not be a state lottery and the kids in rural IL would not receive education funding from that budget. 

Damned idiots.  Check your revenue sources before you go "thumping" your morals.  You same folks insisted that all casinos be river-based and suddenly you realize, "OOOPS, WE DON'T LIVE ON A RIVER!"  However I have yet to hear any of these no-names to complain about state gambling revenues coming into their districts.

This "better than thou" crap has to end in this country, on this planet, and in each of our own lives.  The people that complain the loudest about bad morals would be the most embarrassed when their "morals" were exposed.

Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).



    United States
    Member #11761
    February 23, 2005
    174 Posts
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    Posted: March 8, 2005, 5:43 pm - IP Logged

    I don't think the states need to sell lottery tickets on the internet.



    Like the article said, it would be hard to enforce it and just encourage people to max out their credit cards. People who buy tickets at the store just use spare change.



    If they want to buy them online, find an online agency who will buy them for you.

      Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
      FEMA Region V Camp #21
      United States
      Member #520
      July 27, 2002
      5699 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 8, 2005, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

      Argument against on-line lottery playing sites...the state receives NO revenue from their own state lottery game.  The SOLE purpose of a state to conduct a lottery is to GENERATE REVENUE.

      Argument for on-line lottery betting in your state...the state gets 50% of the revenue of these profits and in most cases this goes into their education budget.

      As an Illinoisan I want my losses going to my state and our kid's education, not some third party who doesn't have the interests of my state or my state's children's education budget in mind .

      You and and I can run an on-line lottery similar to a casino with a 90% payout....hell we can all have our own home 'casinos'.  But what does that do for your state?  What incentive is there for the state to conduct a lottery when a flea bag on-line outfit is using your draws results, with higher payouts and with very little expense of their own?  How do you think they can afford the higher payouts?  Because their profit is ear-marked for their wallets and not the classroom.

      That is why Nevada does not have a state income tax.  Revenues are generated from gambling within the state.  Why do you think they don't want a lottery?  They don't need one!  But you can be damned sure they will make gambling in that state as accessible as it can possibly be from the airports to the bathrooms.  Call your bets in, morse code them in, internet them in, but please just make your bets.

      That is why this game will die because of computer-generated numbers, third-party bookies and a bunch of backward-thinking people.  Mark my words.  When there's nothing in it for the individual state and it no longer becomes a source of revenue for them (without holding a crooked game), you can say goodbye to the lottery.  We're approaching that fast.

      And that is bad!!!!!!

      Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


        GoArmy's avatar - redcross
        Waukegan, IL
        United States
        Member #8043
        October 22, 2004
        753 Posts
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        Posted: March 10, 2005, 5:02 am - IP Logged

        Well Rick...............I guess  you just about covered every aspect there.

          Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
          FEMA Region V Camp #21
          United States
          Member #520
          July 27, 2002
          5699 Posts
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          Posted: March 10, 2005, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

          GoArmy,

          Didn't mean to get on the soap box there...I just like "shopping close to home"

          My theory is, the closer to home you shop, the more the shop benefits your home (local taxes, etc.).

          Posted 4/6:  IL Pick 3 midday and evening until they hit:  555, 347 (str8).


            GoArmy's avatar - redcross
            Waukegan, IL
            United States
            Member #8043
            October 22, 2004
            753 Posts
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            Posted: March 10, 2005, 7:22 pm - IP Logged

            Rick,

            No need for explanation to me, I agree 110 percent with you on this. Good luck tonight and play that 08X!

              LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
              Tennessee
              United States
              Member #7853
              October 15, 2004
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              Posted: March 17, 2005, 8:33 pm - IP Logged

              i agree rick places like alabama and mississippi would already have lotteries but these holier than thou people are scared it will ruin the children and cause the devil to rise from hell,they are close minded idiots feeding on fear


                United States
                Member #379
                June 5, 2002
                11296 Posts
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                Posted: March 19, 2005, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

                Rick:

                Only CA has at least 25 million people, although TX is closing in.