Legislation to prohibit all forms of online gambling except poker has lottery providers and convenience stores at odds, The Hill reports. Lottery officials are concerned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) proposed online ban would cut into ticket sales (many offer online sales now).
NACS is gathering support for the bill. “The lotteries have tried to come to us on numerous occasions saying this wouldn’t hurt us. They just
want to expand their base of customers to people who don’t play these games already,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president of government relations. “From our perspective, this could hurt our business.”
Reid’s bill would permit lotteries that have a drawing no more than once per day to sell their tickets online, though instant games and scratch-off cards would be banned. Without the instant and scratch-off restrictions, NACS is concerned that online lottery sales would cut into ticket sales at convenience stores.
“They just don’t buy
lottery tickets when they’re in a store. They buy a cup of coffee. They fill up their tank,” Beckwith said. “I would prefer that they ban everything, but this bill is far, far better than nothing being banned. If Reid’s bill doesn’t pass, the lotteries will try to put a casino in everyone’s living room.”
According to NACS, the average in-store sale
for a customer purchasing a lottery ticket is $10.35, compared to $6.29 for those who don’t buy a ticket. If lotteries move online, convenience stores would have to increase inside sales by an average of $57,000 to make up for the loss of lottery sales. Take two minutes now to urge legislators in Congress to pass legislation that would limit online lottery ticket sales. (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)