Michigan Lottery Shelves Plans for Online Sales
While the state believes iLottery, which could include online, mobile and tablet applications for ticket sales, would bring in additional revenue for schools, Attorney General Bill Schuette and other lawmakers have stated that it would promote gambling problems and harm brick-and-mortar businesses that sell lottery tickets.
“Plans for an iLottery system have been suspended so that the Lottery may further evaluate the program," Michigan Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato wrote in an e-mail.
Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a budget that did not include the approximately $3.4 million he had originally requested for iLottery. The Senate dropped the funding, which did not make it into the final bill. The day following the signing, the Michigan Lottery said it would indefinitely extend the evaluation period on a request for proposals from vendors to develop the system, according to the report.
The Michigan Petroleum Association/Michigan Association of Convenience Stores expressed support of the change in plans for iLottery. “We think it would have a negative effect on the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers who currently sell lottery tickets, so we were glad to see that, at least for now, the decision to move forward on that has been delayed,” said President Mark Griffin.
The Michigan Lottery could develop iLottery with other funds, but the state House of Representatives and Senate have both introduced bills that would ban online lottery ticket sales within the state.