Michigan Lottery Eyeing Internet Sales Launch in 2014
The Michigan Lottery is set to add the Internet as their next sales frontier and the new “iLottery” could be in place as early as 2014. The idea will be introduced as a way of bringing in more money for public schools in the state by allowing customers to buy tickets and play games online.
The new program by Governor Rick Snyder will be discussed shortly as the state legislature is currently preparing to set its spending for the next budget year. The Snyder administration will request upwards of $3 million to put the “iLottery” internet program in place.
According to the Associated Press, the United States Justice Department issued an opinion 16 months ago that allows internet gambling as long as sports betting is not involved. Gov. Snyder has taken the departments opinion to heart and he is expected to put a program in place that will also include applications for mobile phones and tablets.
Potential growth based on Michigan Lottery estimates figure the state will bring in an extra $8 million in funding in the first year, and an estimated $471 million over the next seven years, according to the report by the Associated Press.
“This is part of the overall goal of having the Lottery continually evolving its product to meet the demands of its players, and continually adapting to the current technology to meet those needs,” Kurt Weiss told WWJ newsradio back in February.
Weiss, a spokesman for Gov. Snyder, believes the new program will provide customers with a brand new experience outside of running up to your local gas station to get your tickets.
Though the Michigan Lottery’s new internet program looks to be an improvement, some state legislators believe otherwise. The internet plan was approved for the budget by the state’s House Appropriations Committee but the state Senate’s committee has served as a road block for “iLottery.”
They voted to pull the funding from the state budget due to concerns with young people and addictions to internet gambling. Only time will tell if the plan becomes a reality as funding for the 2014 state budget is currently being discussed.
Do you believe the Michigan Lottery’s internet program will not only bring in more funding, but give customers a better experience?
[Image via Creative Commons]