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Illinois Lottery exploring Internet sales again

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois Lottery exploring Internet sales again

Could keno be out and Internet lottery in?

A proposal from last spring to authorize Internet sales of Illinois lottery tickets popped up again Thursday, a week after Gov. Rod Blagojevich unveiled a controversial initiative to include keno in the lottery as a way to finance school construction bonds.

A Blagojevich spokeswoman said the governor was not backing off the keno proposal but seemed to hedge her bets.

"We are willing to consider other ideas from the General Assembly," Rebecca Rausch said.

That other idea could come in the form of Senate Bill 198, which allows the Illinois Lottery to sell lottery tickets over the Internet. The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the initiative could bring the state as much as $150 million annually.

No state has Internet lottery sales, however, and revenue estimates are speculative. The Illinois Department of Revenue last spring estimated the measure could generate $6 million a year, based on data from an Internet lottery in the United Kingdom.

Cullerton maintains the Illinois Lottery could implement Internet sales without legislative approval. But the proposal already passed the Senate and a House committee last year. Although the House sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, never called the bill for a vote in the House, the legislation is still alive.

"We are looking for new revenue sources - it seems to me this would be an interesting direction to turn," Lang said.

That direction may not be an easy road. The measure stalled last spring after gambling critics and various representatives of the gaming industry objected.

"There would be nothing to stop them from adding new games in the future," argued Jack Kelly, executive director of the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association.

But a spokesman for Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero was more circumspect.

"The state has indicated an interest in gaming as a new revenue, and I view that as positive," Ed Duffy said. "At this point, I wouldn't say no to anything until I had a chance to review it."

There's no wiggle room with gambling critics, who say there would be no way to protect against minors purchasing the tickets from home computers.

"You could lose your house from your house," said Anita Bedell of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems.

Counting on Internet lottery sales to fund school construction bonds is an unknown, Cullerton acknowledged, resulting in a shaky foundation for bonding.

Cullerton also said he believes U.S. Department of Justice officials would challenge an Internet lottery as a possible violation of the federal Wire Act, which prohibits using wire communication - such as telephone lines - for placing wagers.

"There are legal opinions that clearly show it doesn't violate federal law, but there might be a court case that could slow down the effective date of implementation," Cullerton said.

Many lawmakers seem reluctant to approve keno to provide the revenue to repay the bonds for $500 million in school construction spending that Blagojevich wants to set aside as part of a $3.2 billion capital spending program for fiscal 2007.

"I wouldn't call it dead, it's just that a lot of people have a lot of questions," said Sen. Donne Trotter of Chicago, the Senate Democrats' budget expert.

As the debate continued Thursday about how to pay for the massive road and school construction program, Blagojevich offered more details about which projects in lawmakers' districts might get funding.

If it was supposed to prod GOP lawmakers into supporting the plan, it apparently didn't work.

"Many Republicans are skeptical that we can't trust this governor," said Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield. "Even if we were to agree how to fund this, we're not sure the governor would fulfill his promise."

In the week leading up to Wednesday's State of the State address, Blagojevich made stops in several cities, talking about local projects that would be funded if the General Assembly OK'd the plan. Many lawmakers said they wanted to see specifics before signing on.

The list given to lawmakers Thursday includes projects that will be paid for largely with federal money, but for which the state must provide some matching funds. Illinois Department of Transportation officials said the state needs to come up with $313 million in matching funds to ensure it will not lose any federal highway dollars.

The list also includes dozens of projects paid by federal money, but for which local governments, rather than the state, must provide matching funds. IDOT said those projects will go forward even if the state does not approve bonds to pay for the construction program.

Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson of Greenville said his staff is still reviewing the list. Among other things, Republicans fear the Democratic governor will shortchange projects in GOP districts.

Trotter said he thinks the list Blagojevich released fairly distributes projects throughout the state, although the timing is another factor.

"We know all of the projects aren't going to start at the same time," Trotter said. "Some of the members (want to know), 'Where are we on that priority list?'"

Some lawmakers also are reviving the idea of closing a tax loophole on sales of canned computer software. Blagojevich has tried without success to close the loophole for a couple of years. Some lawmakers think the idea might pass if it is tied to school construction.

Watson said he's willing to examine alternative funding sources for the school construction plan.

"I haven't shut the door on anything," he said. "I'll be glad to talk about whatever revenue source the governor wants to bring to the table."

Springfield State Journal Register

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9 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 1
Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
FEMA Region V Camp #21
United States
Member #520
July 27, 2002
5699 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 20, 2006, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

Anyone that has driven on IL highways in their travels know it needs money to get them up to the par of other states. Unfortunately, the money that was apportioned for the IL highway system via excessive tolls has been consistently stolen by secretarys of state, IDOT and right on up to the governor's mansion as long as I can remember....and that's a long time.

The real question, is this just another "treasury" for more theft and corruption? IL has always been notorious in crooked contracts granted with paybacks expected.

Take a trip through IL and at the borders of all of its neighboring states you will notice a marked improvement in roads when you enter their states.

So my conclusion is that road conditions will remain the same and the fat cats will be getting fatter.

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


    Avatar
    Northern California
    United States
    Member #19948
    August 9, 2005
    151 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 20, 2006, 5:20 pm - IP Logged

    If they structured the game right, IL could make a TON of money off keno.  Off the top of my head I don't knopw the population - 12 - 15 million? At the industry average of $.60 per capita per week, that would be over $370 million per year in sales - at 25% profit they could make $90 - $100 milion per year in bond payments. Only one state actually sells at $.60 cents.  RI and MA sell a lot better than that - don't know what MI's sales are.

     

    As far as web sales - the only question is who will be first.  If the feds step in, there will be a court fight - this Supreme Court seems skeptical of the Feds intruding on states issues

     

    As soon as one state does it (web sales), stand back as many more rush to do the same

      Avatar
      Sparta, NJ
      United States
      Member #18331
      July 9, 2005
      1977 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 20, 2006, 6:44 pm - IP Logged

      Ahhhh - the right of a strate to do whatever it takes to ease the craving.  In this case, they crave money.  It is good to be King, if not King, then an elected official!  Money means votes, votes means perks!  The innocent think foriegn governments are corrupt.  In reality, they have their head buried in the sand.  You can guess what is wide open when you head is buried in the sand!

      Cheers

      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
        United States
        Member #30470
        January 17, 2006
        10353 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 21, 2006, 12:14 am - IP Logged

        I wrote the Illinois lottery six years ago and suggested putting a box or something on the tickets that said, "Should my dollar not win, I'd like it (or part of it) to go to:


        schools

        libraries

        fire dep't

        etc..".


        They wrote back and said it was imposssible to administer. Now they just came out with a research for breast cancer scratcher and talking about a veteran's scratcher.

        The money from the Lotto is suppossed to be going to the school's anyway, so this keno or online thing has very little credibility.

          Rick G's avatar - avatar 1766.jpg
          FEMA Region V Camp #21
          United States
          Member #520
          July 27, 2002
          5699 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 21, 2006, 3:18 pm - IP Logged


          The reality of the IL lottery proceeds going towards the education budget is this:

          The budget for education remained the same. It is being supplemented and/or financed by lottery proceeds. Where is the rest of the money going?

          The average player thinks all of their money is going towards "extra" education costs and some of it is. But my question is where did that extra taxpayer money go that was apportioned to education before the lottery started supplementing it?

          The budget remained the same, they have a new influx of money and yet the budget remained the same and we ain't ranking too high in the education department compared to all states.

          That's why worldwide our country is low on the totem pole as far as education goes relative to our prosperity. Other countries are kicking our ass in that department and that is why there is so much outsourcing of our labor.

          We've gone from the manufacturing king of the world, to the technology king of the world, to the fast food workers of the world....because we have been dumbed down by our federal and state governments and their lack of serious expenditures on the education of our youth.

          I guess it's easier to wage war than educate our kids. A lot more expensive, but what the hell, we have the lottery players to pay for it.

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


            mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

            United States
            Member #24380
            October 21, 2005
            623 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 24, 2006, 10:07 pm - IP Logged

            All states might not have a lottery that I propose, so going online like Illinois proposes would be a grreat idea for the  Big L.  That's another possible name for

            Let's hear it for the "L" word!!!GuitarBanana

            Good Idea to introduce the USA Lottery!  We need a national lottery to take care of charitable efforts of the USA and other areas of the world when NATURAL DISASTERS Strike.  And believe me, they are going to come in a D-e-l-u-g-e! in the next ten years.  (Read the national weather service web sites).  Can we depend on the generosity of citizens like 911 and the great out-pouring of generosity for Hurricane Katrina? There were other disaters in the world as well, such as the Sunami, several earthquakes...the list goes on.

            So, to introduce this phenomenal lottery, lets start by offering prizes to promote the lottery.  In each state there will be top prizes in addition to the cash valued Jackpots. Come on ya'll, Let's hear it for the

            PatriotUSA Lottery!Patriot 

              mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

              United States
              Member #24380
              October 21, 2005
              623 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 24, 2006, 10:15 pm - IP Logged

              All states might not have a lottery that I propose, so going online like Illinois proposes would be a grreat idea for the  Big L.  That's another possible name for

              Let's hear it for the "L" word!!!GuitarBanana

              Good Idea to introduce the USA Lottery!  We need a national lottery to take care of charitable efforts of the USA and other areas of the world when NATURAL DISASTERS Strike.  And believe me, they are going to come in a D-e-l-u-g-e! in the next ten years.  (Read the national weather service web sites).  Can we depend on the generosity of citizens like 911 and the great out-pouring of generosity for Hurricane Katrina? There were other disaters in the world as well, such as the Sunami, several earthquakes...the list goes on.

              So, to introduce this phenomenal lottery, lets start by offering prizes to promote the lottery.  In each state there will be top prizes in addition to the cash valued Jackpots. Come on ya'll, Let's hear it for the

              PatriotUSA Lottery!Patriot 


                Australia
                Member #17096
                June 11, 2005
                225 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 25, 2006, 6:11 am - IP Logged

                You can buy New York lottery subscriptions on it's web site, but you must be a New York resident.

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
                  United States
                  Member #7853
                  October 15, 2004
                  11338 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 26, 2006, 6:26 am - IP Logged

                  You can buy New York lottery subscriptions on it's web site, but you must be a New York resident.

                  i think it would be illegal otherwise.....