Lawmakers mull ban on online lottery sales

Lawmakers mull ban on online lottery sales

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A bill that would ban the sale of the e-scratch games the Minnesota Lottery makes available on its website got its first hearing on Thursday after lawmakers expressed concern gambling is now too easy.

The Minnesota Lottery began selling e-scratch games in February, but it has long sold electronic versions of other lottery tickets, including PowerBall.

Several lawmakers aren't fans of the online expansion, however, because they believe it makes gambling dangerously easy to do.

"Members, this is not the online lottery," Rep. Greg Davids, a Republican from Preston, argued. "This is online crack."

Yet, lottery director Ed Van Patten told Fox 9 News the amount of online sales is very low so far, only bringing in $170,000 since Feb. 6. Even so, he argues that it is critical to marketing and sustaining lottery sales.

Furthermore, Van Patten said that stopping the games would open the lottery up to lawsuits from players who may have outstanding prizes from the winning tickets they bought online.

The bill passed on a voice vote and will now head to the Rules Committee.

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