Hoosier Lottery watching Illinois' online-sales effort

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Indiana lottery officials are keeping their eye on an Illinois effort to sell lottery tickets online.

The Hoosier Lottery hasn't started formally looking at online sales, but spokesman Al Larsen told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne that officials will consider it depending on how the program in Illinois works out.

"We have been monitoring everything," Larsen said. "When you get down to it, we have an obligation to maximize revenue for Hoosier taxpayers, so we have to look at all sales channels."

Larsen said the lottery wouldn't need approval from the state legislature, just from the five-member lottery commission. But Larsen said the group would talk to Gov. Mitch Daniels to get feedback before making any proposals and would also consult with store owners who sell lottery tickets.

On Sunday, Illinois began selling tickets online for the multistate Mega Millions game and its state lottery. It's the first state to try an online program.

The system in Illinois sets up a direct deposit account for players with winnings of less than $600. Those who win more than that will receive email notification that they've won. Players will also be able to set up subscriptions for automatic wagers.

"I would imagine it will be very attractive to other states," Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones said. "It's a fantastic way to broaden the player base."

They've also set up several protections to keep out-of-state or underage players from buying tickets, including Internet protocol address checks and requiring players to give their name, address, Social Security number and date of birth at registration.

Scott Imus, executive director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said online sales could potentially take customers out of traditional stores. He hoped that if Indiana enacted an online system, it would at least require winners to cash in their tickets at a store.

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, said he isn't sure whether the legislature would want to get involved with the debate but that an online program would be worth review.

"I've gotten a sense in recent years that there's not a real appetite for expansion of gambling in the legislature," he said. "On the other hand, we're certainly competing against these other states. We're obviously a gaming state. But once you've started, where do you draw the line?"


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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.