CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Lottery Commission announced Tuesday it is abandoning a proposed new online, interactive game and shifting its focus to the state's current games, especially instant scratch tickets.
Charles McIntyre, the lottery's executive director, said the commission will cancel efforts to launch PlayNowNH because the game would not be a strong revenue producer.
"It was my belief that the game would have produced modest revenue," McIntyre said in a statement. "In light of our other challenges at this time, it is clear that the resources needed to introduce and sustain a product like PlayNowNH would be a poor return on investment."
Commission Chair Debra Douglas said the commission supports McIntyre's decision.
Last month, the legislative Fiscal Committee ordered the commission to postpone starting the game until it presented a formal proposal in September.
As proposed, the PlayNowNH game allowed players to choose what they wanted to play — baseball, super slots, speed bingo or New Hampshire poker — and the amount they wanted to spend. Each game cost a certain amount, but the total chances to play cannot exceed $100. For example, a player could buy up to 20 chances on a ticket for a $5 game, go online using the access code on the ticket and play that game 20 times.
The prizes were determined at sale so players could have checked at lottery outlets to see if the tickets were winners — without playing the games. The interactive part of the game was simply a new way to reveal if the ticket was a winner.
Winners would not have been able to buy more chances online and would have had to claim prizes in stores.
The commission was promoting the game as a way to attract younger players who can play on their computers or smart phones, if they have access to the Internet.
Players must be 18 or older to buy lottery tickets in New Hampshire.
The commission had postponed the game's July 1 launch after an outcry from lawmakers who said they knew nothing about it.
At the Fiscal Committee meeting in July, lawmakers asked why the commission had not presented the game to them when they were struggling to balance the state's budget in June.
The chairs of the House and Senate Finance committees chided lottery officials for not seeking their approval.
The attorney general's office argued unsuccessfully that the commission didn't need legislative approval to launch the game because it wasn't markedly different from scratch tickets.