Indiana’s Hoosier Lotto is Latest State Lottery to Look Online
Indiana’s official state lottery, the Hoosier Lotto, is the latest US lottery operator to explore the opportunities offered by online sales and marketing following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that legalised online gambling.
Indiana would not be the first state to offer online lottery
As one of the most popular US state lotteries (by head of population), the management of Hoosier Lotto will not be unaware of the potential offered by online sales, with many other states already exploiting their ability to sell Powerball, Mega Millions, state lotteries and instant win games online.
The Indiana state lottery plans to work up a business plan for online lotto sales over the next 12 months before presenting its plan to the Hoosier Lottery Commission, which has the power to authorise internet sales without the need for state legislation.
The concept of online sales for the Hoosier Lottery was mooted in a report on the future of the lottery delivered in May, but it contained only limited delays on the case for launching the lotto online. Commissioners are expected to want to see costs and revenue projections, as well as a proposed system to integrate the online lottery website with the existing state-wide retail infrastructure.
Five states currently use online lottery platforms
With official state lotteries in Georgia, llinois, Kentucky, Michigan and New Hampshire already offering online lottery tickets, it’s only a matter of time before more state follow suit. New York, California, Pennsylvania and Florida are just four states looking at the technology they need to move to online lotto sales.
Danny Bogus, who helped launch the Michigan Lottery’s digital platform, told the Indiana Business Journal that he expects two or three state lotteries each year to move online, making it a marathon rather than a sprint. He said: “Now there’s a model that’s been proven out. So, it’s really easy for other states to take that best-practices model.”
Interestingly, it has been technically legal for state lotteries to offer iLottery sales since 2011, the year that the Federal Wire Act was clarified as applying only to sports betting. The fact that only five have done so says more about the stigma of all forms of online gambling in the USA than it does about the legality of online lottery.
Online lottery may become a necessity for state lotto operators
The legalisation of online gambling will present new forms of competition to existing state lotteries, many of which have enjoyed a virtual monopoly on gambling in their own regions, so it’s now essential that they explore new channels to boost lottery ticket sales and revenue, with online lotto being the obvious answer.
Since launching in 2018, the official Pennsylvania State Lottery has attracted more than 118,000 online customers, generating more than $32 million in online lottery revenue.
For many official state lottery operators, it will make more sense to partner up with an existing iLottery platform provider, rather than developing their own online lotto platforms from scratch.