New Bill Might Make Pennsylvania Lottery Available to Anyone Online

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A gaming expansion bill passed by the senate will give lottery players the option to play the Pennsylvania lottery online.  The bill also grants privately owned gambling franchises the ability to offer online options.

This bill will make Pennsylvania the first state to allow casinos and state lotteries to operate online.  It will also allow the state to tax and regulate online fantasy and sports games, create access to play the lottery in airport parlors, and require casinos to pay millions of dollars a year to local government.

Lawmakers hope that by expanding gambling to online platforms, they’ll attract the attention of younger audiences and potential new lottery players.

The bill was passed by a Republican-led chamber, but it still must face the House before becoming a law.  The House is seeking support for further legislation to allow machine-style gambling in thousands of bars, truck stops, and fraternal clubs.

Implementation of the new bill will certainly increase lottery revenue for the state. It’s estimated that the state would reap $110 million to $147 million next year.

Critics of the bill say that increasing accessibility to gambling creates a false narrative for Pennsylvanians as it encourages gambling to solve state revenue problems and personal problems, while disregarding the possible increase in gambling addiction.  Further criticism says that gambling online will take away from local casinos, as players might resort to gambling online instead of their local casinos.

Proponents of the bill feel that it presents important new revenue opportunities in the face of the state’s deficit-ridden finances.

What do you think of states offering online lottery games?  Is this a good idea?  Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments below.

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