Minnesota Lottery tries making nice with politicians to save online scratchers

Minnesota Lottery executive director Ed Van Petten isn’t ready to give up on the online scratch tickets the Lottery launched in February 2014. State politicians have vowed to kill off the online scratchers when the legislature reconvenes in 2015, much as they thought they’d already done before Gov. Mark Daytonvetoed their bill after the 2014 session closed. Legislators of both parties say they have veto-proof levels of support for killing off the Lottery’s first-in-the-nation online scratchers as well as rolling back online sales of ordinary draw tickets.

Shortly before Christmas, Van Petten told the Associated Press that he needs to “educate better” if the scratchers are to have a future. Van Petten noted that none of the “dire consequences” predicted by the online scratchers’ opponents had actually come true. More to the point, Van Petten says over 31k players have utilized the Lottery’s online products and 27% of those players were under 35 years old, a demographic the Lottery had previously found difficult to attract.

Van Petten has enlisted the help of lobbyist and former House Commerce Committee staffer Chris Kwapick to help sway legislators. Rep. Joe Atkins says Lottery execs have been “communicating much better” regarding their plans but Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says sweet talk won’t alter his view that gambling should not be “at someone’s fingertips every minute of the day.”

At present, just Minnesota, Illinois, Georgia and Michigan offer some form of online lottery sales although Kentucky recently selected GTECH to provide the technology to allow the state to commence online sales in 2015. Legislators and lottery execs in Florida, West Virginia and Massachusetts are also flirting with the notion of joining the modern age.

However, fear-based opposition remains strong, as this year saw Colorado legislators pass a bill prohibiting their state lottery from going online while Maryland pols instituted a one-year moratorium on any discussion of online sales.

source : www.calvinayre.com

Share This Article:

More Similar Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here