Texas would become the first state to sell lottery tickets online under legislation has received approval by a state legislative panel.
Under the bill approved by the state House Appropriations Committee on Monday, players also would be able to pay for lottery tickets with a debit card and establish a Texas Lottery Commission account that would draw down as they bought tickets.
Players also could also establish a Texas Lottery Commission account that would draw down as they purchase tickets.
House members barely discussed the measure at Monday's meeting. The proposal was inserted in a larger bill, which would allow motorists to display one license plate on the rear of a vehicle.
Rep. Jim Pitts, the committee chairman and bill author, said Internet sales of lottery tickets would earn an additional $100 million a year. The lottery raised $1 billion last year for schools.
Rep. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, a supporter of the bill, described its chances in the full House as 50-50, depending, he said, on whether money was still needed toward the end of the session to fund crucial services.
Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, objected to the proposal, saying it could give children access to buying tickets and easier access could fuel gambling addictions.
The Lottery Commission was taken by surprise. Officials said they weren't told of the bill ahead of time and don't yet know what kind of games they would offer via the Internet.