Online Gambling and the Lottery


There are hundreds of lotteries available throughout the United States. The first official state to offer a lottery was New Hampshire in 1964. Lotteries are considered one of the oldest forms of legal gambling in the US. In addition to state lotteries, there are also online lottery services that are offered to players.

While some states have already paved the way for online lottery ticket sales, others are hesitant to implement these new procedures. Some opponents have legitimate concerns about cannibalization of state-operated lotteries and the risk of problem gambling. Others worry that states will be left without money to fund their programs.

In 2011, the Department of Justice issued a clarification on the Wire Act, which opened the door for more states to allow their lotteries to be sold online. However, only seven jurisdictions have currently approved these sales. A few more are expected to approve this practice in the near future.

Some of the more popular state-operated lotteries in the United States include Powerball and Mega Millions. Powerball is the largest multi-state lottery in the U.S.; however, its popularity is somewhat debatable. Many states are still considering the idea of expanding the online reach of their lotteries.

One of the newest launches is the Lucky Block platform, which offers token holders the opportunity to receive a free ticket to every draw. Token holders are also given a percentage of the jackpot. Additionally, users can vote on causes they believe in and help support good causes.

Maryland’s Lottery is the third largest source of revenue for the state. Income comes after sales taxes and corporate taxes. In 2010, the Maryland Lottery’s revenues exceeded $1 billion. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of the revenue comes from its lottery. After income taxes and lottery fees, the remaining revenue is deposited into the General Fund of the State Treasury. This fund is used to support public health and safety, public education, and the environment.

The Lottery Division of the Department of State is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the lottery. Its responsibilities include, but are not limited to, contract management, agent administration, information technology, facilities operation, and records management.

Information Technology is a sub-unit of the Administration, Finance and Operations Division. This division is responsible for internal data systems, website infrastructure, and technical assistance to the Agency.

Creative Services is a part of the Sales and Marketing Division. This division is responsible for production of lottery advertising materials and promotional campaigns. Advertising is purchased by Creative Services in order to promote the lottery and attract winners. Advertising expenditures are evaluated for effectiveness.

Despite all these issues, the legal online lottery is growing in the U.S. More states are expected to give it a try in the coming years. Currently, only seven states have deemed it legal to sell tickets online. Several jurisdictions have also deferred to third-party applications to conduct their own online lotteries.