Illinois’ Internet and mobile app pilot program for lottery sales expired on Friday, but lottery officials are continuing the program anyway.
State Rep. Ed Sullivan sponsored legislation that would make the program permanent, but the bill has not made it out of committee in the House. Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi said in a news release Friday that the lottery conducted a review of policies, rules and laws at Sullivan’s request and found that Internet ticket sales are permissible under current law.
Anita Bedell with Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems said the lottery shouldn’t go around the law.
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“It was a pilot program, and if the legislature didn’t extend it, then they shouldn't be operating it,” she said.
Since its inception in 2012, nearly 106,000 people have participated in the online lottery, according to a lottery spokesman. Online sales have created $68 million in tax revenue since the program began in 2012. Roughly a quarter of that goes to education and state construction projects, with about three-quarters going to payouts and administrative costs.
Only Michigan, Georgia and Illinois allow online sales of lottery tickets. Other states require gamblers to buy tickets at licensed retailers.