Illinois convenience stores want the state lottery to slow down efforts to put ticket sales online. The stores claim online ticket sales will not only hurt their lottery revenue, but ancillary sales on gum, snacks and other convenience items will also suffer. Rob Karr, executive vice president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, says there are too many questions surrounding online sales. For example, when someone buys a ticket online – how are the winnings redeemed?
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“Are they going to come in the store and be able to redeem it in the store? Are they not going to be able to redeem it in the store? All sorts of things like that that we think should be understood clearly and hammered out before we rush into this,” he says. The Illinois Association of Convenience Stores says the reduced foot traffic in stores could result in 8,000 job losses across 4,000 convenience stores statewide. But the association says it’s not against online lottery sales – just the pace at which the state is trying to move forward. Lawmakers say ticket sales could be online as early as next month.