Indiana Could Offer Online Lottery Games Starting In 2020

Posted on July 7, 2019 - Last Updated on September 19, 2019

Citizens in most of the states that neighbor the Hoosier State can buy lottery tickets online. The Indiana lottery may soon let Indiana residents join that fray.

The company that runs the lottery in Indiana has started a study of other states’ iLottery programs. The Hoosier Lottery Commission could pull the trigger if it likes the findings.

When might the Indiana Lottery go mobile?

IGT Indiana, which operates the state’s lottery, intends to present an action plan to the Hoosier Lottery Commission sometime in 2020. The action could move quickly from there.

The Hoosier Lottery Commission already has the power to begin online sales. The Indiana Legislature would not have to pass any new laws.

If IGT makes its presentation early in 2020 and the Hoosier Lottery Commission is on board, the rollout process could begin immediately. Indiana residents could be buying online lottery tickets by the end of next year.

The implementation process will take time, however. That’s why if findings are presented later in 2020, actual sales may not begin until sometime in 2021.

Before online sales, what must happen?

There are several factors the Hoosier Lottery Commission needs to take into account if it decides to go forward with online sales.

The commission needs to determine what details from customers it will require for registration. In other states, customers need to prove their:

  • Identity
  • Age
  • Residence

Which forms of payment the lottery will accept is another factor. Some states allow customers to use credit cards, but others do not.

Then, of course, there is which games to offer. Neighboring states limit online sales to Mega Millions and Powerball, while other states offer a wider array of games.

Limits in other facets of gaming are another concern for the commission.

Responsible gaming concerns for online sales

As was the case with the legalization of Indiana sports betting, a mobile component raises concerns about ease of access to deposit and withdraw options for individuals with gambling problems.

The argument against such activity from that perspective is that being able to access the platform from mobile devices is too much of a temptation for such individuals. Proponents argue exactly the opposite.

Supporters of online gambling argue such systems make installing safeguards easier for problem gamblers. The software allows customers to set unique limits they can’t surpass.

Those concerned with the welfare of problem gamblers aren’t the only possible objectors, however.

Brick and mortar lottery sales also a concern

Retail locations that sell physical lottery tickets could see a sales dip from online lottery sales and not just in that vertical alone.

Few customers who visit a retail location leave without making additional purchases. Lottery tickets are for them what betting on Indiana Fever games will eventually be to Indiana casinos. It’s a way to get foot traffic.

Other states have satisfied retail partners by running promotions on their mobile platforms that can only be redeemed in stores and offering customers the ability to cash out in stores.

If the lottery can maintain its retail sales while adding a strong mobile product, revenue for the state from the lottery could increase by millions of dollars. The possibility of buying a Powerball ticket on their phones is an exciting one for Indiana residents.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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