Minnesota Online Lottery Game Controversy

Published Sunday, February 09, 2014 - Online-Casinos.com
Minnesota Online Lottery Game Controversy

The lottery is becoming competitive and now in many jurisdictions the internet is playing a larger role in getting tickets into punters hands. There is debate over the new Minnesota Lottery online scratch-off game that lottery officials say will not increase gambling, but critics are betting it will. 

The introduction of Spicy 7’s online lottery game is the cause of all the concern in Minnesota. The process is simple enough with a tic-tac-toe-like game board and a computer mouse to click on squares, players are seeking  three 7s in a row and should that happen, a player can win $777.

A soft launch of the game has proved successful with Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten saying, the lottery wanted to test it out quietly before the general public began visiting. “So far, it is working perfectly,” Van Petten said.

Minnesotans have been able to buy lottery tickets online for years, but the difference is that the in the new online scratch game players know right away if they won, similar to when Minnesotans play traditional paper scratch-off games. Van Petten said the game is aimed at the younger demographic to traditional games, and he expects many of the new players to buy paper tickets at retail outlets. Van Petten claims the goal is not to build an online scratch-game following. “We look at it more as brand awareness, more of a marketing tool than anything, to introduce our product to a new demographic,” Van Petten maintained.

Citizens Against Gambling Expansion President Jack Meeks commented on the state law which he says prohibits the lottery from creating online games. If the game is to be legal, he said, the Legislature must specifically approve it. “When the Minnesota Lottery was written into statute and enacted over 20 years ago, no one could have imagined that technology would advance to where it is now,” Meeks said. “The lottery’s unilateral decision to become the first state in the country to wade into online scratch-offs without legislative oversight is just further evidence that the lottery is overreaching and proves we need legislation to clearly define what they can and cannot do.”



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