Georgia to Offer Online Lottery Sales
Coming off a fiscal year that saw the Georgia lottery post record sales of $3.8b, the Georgia Lottery Board approved the online sale of lottery tickets within the state.
Online sales can begin as soon as this fall and will be available for Fantasy 5, Mega Millions and Powerball games initially with plans to add online scratch-off games at a later date.
Following Thursday’s unanimous vote, Georgia is set to be the second state to implement online lottery sales in the country following the US Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act. Illinois took its lottery sales online in March and Delaware approved a wide variety of online gambling—including lottery sales—last month, but has yet to implement the process.
The board also approved a funding mechanism for online purchases. The iHOPE card—named after the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs that receive the profits from the Georgia lottery—will serve as a debit card that can be funded through retail outlets that currently sell lottery tickets, linked to a bank account and used for normal retail purchases.
Currently there is no indication that Georgia plans to allow online poker or any form of online casino gambling. However, online instant scratch-off games maintain the same functionality as online slot machines and some have speculated that the introduction of multi-player instant lottery games could be configured to resemble poker.