Could Intrastate Gambling Be Coming?

05 June 2010

Several states in the US have initiatives before their legislative bodies to allow intrastate gambling within the borders of their respective states. The states with lotteries may hold an edge in that department. GTech, Scientific Games, and Intralot, three of the primary lottery providers in the US, all have gambling platforms and games ready to go, thanks to their interactive games branches.

Several lottery companies in states with lotteries, plan on offering games of skill along with their lottery products by the end of 2010. Among these are New York and Washington DC lotteries.

Atul Bali, President of GTECH G2’s new media and sports betting division, states that: “state lotteries will not move into this space without clear legislation on the type of games that they can offer for cash”.

Thus, state lottery community is waiting for the results of the US Department of Justice’s response to Illinois. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent the DOJ a letter on December 11, 2009, requesting the DOJ’s opinion on the Illinois Proposed Internet Lottery Pilot Program, which would place the sale of Illinois lottery tickets on the internet.

Martin Owens, an expert on US interactive gaming law, says that other than sports betting: “The DOJ, under the US constitutional system, has no authority to tell states what sort of gambling they can legalize within their borders”.

A spokeswoman for the New York State Lottery stated that they are in talks with various departments of the state government to be able to move into offering various games with the lottery, but there is nothing concrete to report at this time.

The Illinois lottery is also working on a new program whereby they will offer around 20 or so non-gaming internet based games to be offered to qualified lottery players. They will play through three levels of play to play for prizes. This is designed to allow the lottery to establish itself as an online portal and destination for online gaming when it becomes legalized.

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