N. Carolina lottery officials hesitating further expansion of online sales

N. Carolina lottery officials hesitating further expansion of online sales

December 07, 2017 10:11 AM
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North Carolina lottery officials, although seeking to increase business and thereby education funding, are hesitating the further expansion of online sales as traditional lottery retailers and social conservatives express uncertainties.

The lottery currently allows players to buy tickets through its website for big jackpot drawings, but is waiting on allowing “instant ticket” purchases. The “instant tickets” are the electronic equivalent of scratch-off tickets that allows players to try to score big cash prizes from their desktops or smartphones. Gamblers would pay to play using their debit cards or checking accounts.

The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission placed on its agenda for its quarterly meeting the topic but moved quickly to the next item.

Local media report the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association has asked state legislators to further examine the idea closely and N.C. Family Policy Council asked lottery commissioners to oppose the expansion.

The State Lottery has increased sales annually since its inception in 2006, reaching $2.4 billion last year, with $622.5 million in net earnings for education. North Carolina is among numerous states trying to attract new, younger players more in tuned with computers.