Poker sites may be strictly verboten, but another kind of online gambling is starting to crop up: state lotteries. Minnesota has already begun selling lottery tickets online, even offering year-long subscriptions for its Powerball and Mega Millions games, USA Today reports. Several other states are considering following suit. A bill allowing online lotto sales has already passed a New Jersey Assembly committee, and another has been introduced in New York.
eLottery, a Connecticut company that runs these games, estimates that selling tickets online increases sales 15% in five years, drawing in “a demographic who doesn’t traditionally go into a convenience store to buy a ticket.” So far, Minnesota has sold 8,772 subscriptions, earning $333,476. But convenience store owners aren’t happy. “My fear is that somebody says, ‘Hey, if we can get a few extra bucks, it doesn’t matter that we’re taking away from small-business owners,'” says the head of New Jersey’s convenience store association.