Last Sunday the Illinois Lottery became the first American lottery game to begin selling ticket and all indications are that they’ve got a big hit on their hands. By the end of day Sunday, the first day tickets were available online, sales had topped more than $15,000.

Sales are expected to remain strong for the rest of the week thanks to a Mega Millions jackpot hovering near the $370 million mark.

Starting a Trend

Illinois is the first American state to offer lottery ticket sales online but, given the dismal financial situation in most states, they probably won’t be the last. Thanks to large numbers of home foreclosures, revenue starved state governments are very open to gaming options that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Reasons for Going Online

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones said that the move to online sales was motivated by the popularity of online retailing.

But in a press release he suggested that the move was designed largely to enhance lottery revenues. Illinois has been hard hit by the Great Recession making the latter statement something that’s probably a little closer to the truth.

Internet Lottery Challenges

Of course the biggest challenge in bringing lottery ticket sales online revolves around keeping sales limited to legal age, in-state residents. To prevent unauthorized users from purchasing tickets, customers are required to register and verify their location through geo-locating programs.

What it Means for Affiliates

The prospect of all 43 states with lotteries going online is something of a mixed blessing for affiliates. On the one hand, it could create a new crop of online gaming customers who might not have considered playing online in the past. But on the other hand, it could create additional competition for gaming dollars.

What do you think about online lottery ticket sales? Let us know in our General Discussion Forum.


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