Online Lottery Worries Businesses In Illinois

Business groups and store owners from across the state say plans to expand Illinois Lottery sales to the internet are moving too fast. Legislation was filed today to address those concerns. Rachel Otwell reports:

The measure would give store-owners a role in the online lottery sales. But one retail merchant spokesman says:

KARR: “Hopefully that legislation’s not necessary, and it shouldn’t be necessary given the relationship we’ve had with Illinois Lottery for decades.”

That’s Robb Karr, who works for an association that includes gas stations and convenience stores from around the state. Karr and other store-owners and business organizations are saying they want to be in on the plans for online lottery.

The proposed law would have stores and gas-stations sell a type of debit-card that customers would need to play the numbers online.

Michael Jones, director of the Illinois Lottery, says the Internet expansion will attract people who previously never played…and that means they’ll be buying tickets in stores as well. He says that’s good news for retailers.

JONES: “They have an incredible opportunity to convert more of their existing foot-traffic into lottery playing because of the Internet in a way that never have been able to do it before.”

The lottery sales are slated to go online at the end of March.

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