CHICAGO - Sunday ushered in a new era of how consumers purchase lottery tickets, with online sales of Lotto and Mega Millions games beginning in Illinois.
With Illinois leading the way, at least 21 states and the District of Columbia are moving forward with plans to allow consumers to use the Internet, rather than frequent bricks-and-mortar stores, to purchase individual lottery tickets.
NACS spokesman Jeff Lenard told USA Today last week that the convenience store industry has "significant concerns" about the economic effect online lottery ticket sales will have on stores that sell lottery tickets. Cutting into convenience store lottery ticket sales would result in a loss of the 5% commission and other incentives most states offer lottery sellers. Also, the potential impact on convenience store foot traffic and the collateral sales that come with it would be lost.
For more on online lottery, read the upcoming April 2012 NACS Magazine feature, "You Can€™t Win."