In recent years, states have taken their lotteries online to boost ticket sales and increase profits. Georgia launched their online lottery program back in 2012, but last week, they rolled out a new addition to their program. The state partnered with Gtech, an Italian gaming company, and expanded the game library offered online. Along with lottery tickets, the site now offers keno, instant games (click and win) and draw-based games. The site is also teaming up with the IHope card, which will allow players to own a debit card linked to their eWallet on the website. In case they didn’t make it easy enough to play, the site is also unveiling an app later this year.
Other states, such as Illinois and Michigan, have moved part of their lottery programs online, but Georgia is the first state to offer an array of games this extensive. Minnesota is the only state that offers something similar: online scratch-offs. However, these scratch-offs have been in the news recently as there has been significant resistant in the state’s Senate committee meetings, which could threaten their existence.
Although Minnesota may see a setback in their online lottery program, things seem to be full speed ahead in Georgia. This will serve as a benchmark for other states who are thinking about offering lottery programs online, since the online gaming market in the United States is difficult to gauge. Nevada launched two online poker sites, only to have one shut down only after a year. New Jersey followed Nevada and not only offered online poker, but online gaming as well. Similar to Nevada, the poker segment of the gaming sites lacked volume, producing less than 25% of the revenue for the sites. The geographic limitations of New Jersey and Nevada most likely hindered their results, but the wide-spread nature of the lottery programs may lead to continued success and a new niche in the market.