One of the latest developments in the world of gaming is the availability of online lottery games. For the most part, players need only be in the appropriate state to participate, and the legality of the transactions varies from one location to the next. Some states require the purchase of physical tickets, while others defer to third-party applications.
The first state to offer online lottery sales was Illinois, in 2012. It was followed by Kentucky, which launched its own online lottery three years later. Since then, Illinois has added Powerball and Daily Lottery Games to the mix. As a result, the state’s overall revenue from traditional lotteries has increased steadily. Similarly, Michigan’s online lottery sales have exceeded $8 million in just over 18 months.
Online lottery sites allow participants to pick their numbers, pay for the tickets and then receive the results. To make matters easier, many lottery providers also offer a variety of instant win games. These are similar to scratch-off games but offer larger prizes. If you win under $600, the site will pay the tax on your winnings. However, you will still need to fill out a claim form if your prize exceeds that amount.
The best online lottery sites give you instant access to a variety of lottery games. They allow you to compare current jackpots and the odds of winning a prize. They offer the convenience of paying for your tickets in one location, and the peace of mind of knowing your details are secure.
A number of online lottery sites are making moves to expand their service offerings. Among these are Instant Games, which are casino-like games that can be played from a desktop or mobile device. Likewise, some states are in the midst of legalizing their own online lotteries. In the coming years, more states will likely take the same leap.
Before you try your luck, though, you should check with your state to determine whether your lottery provider is permitted to offer its services online. Many state laws stipulate that the purchase of tickets for national draws is illegal. Even if your state permits such transactions, you may be infringing on federal law. UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) does not prohibit online gambling, but it does prevent online ticket sales.
Although many states have started offering lottery tickets on the internet, the vast majority are still relying on their physical counterparts. That’s not to say that the benefits of playing online aren’t worthwhile. By purchasing more tickets, you increase your chances of winning.
On the other hand, many online lottery opponents have legitimate concerns about cannibalization of existing brick and mortar facilities and the possibility of problem gambling. Moreover, there are legitimate safety and security issues to be considered, including how to track at-risk players. This is especially true if the online lottery is run under the auspices of a state. Luckily, the legal landscape is quickly changing.
Today, only seven jurisdictions offer online lottery games and sales. Others are still working on their own versions.