Home Online lottery North Carolina AG opposes expansion of online lottery sales

North Carolina AG opposes expansion of online lottery sales

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The North Carolina Attorney General has spoken out against the expansion of online sales by the state lottery, suggesting that such “digital moments” could violate state laws banning cash machines. video draw.

Opposition from Democrat Josh Stein spread as members of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission met on Tuesday to consider a draft business plan to offer such games. Members of the Commission ToOkay a key step towards digital moments last month – without finalizing their production – by requesting the plan.

North Carolina law says the lottery can endorse any game that another state lottery already offers. Digital moments, which are essentially the electronic equivalent of scratch tickets offering cash prizes, already exist in five other states.

But Stein told commission chair Courtney Crowder in a letter that games could be considered video games banned under separate state law. “The commission does not have the power to offer lottery games that qualify as video games,” Stein wrote on January 22, pointing to legal citations.

Stein’s argument matches those of online sales critics, who say instant digital themes and screens look too much like the video raffle games, which lawmakers and law enforcement have been trying for years. ‘root out of the state. Opponents point to the crime associated with illegal raffle parlors and gamer anecdotes, especially in poor areas, emptying their wallets to gamble.

“I am concerned that these types of games will prey on the vulnerable and risk harming both communities and families in the state,” Stein wrote, urging the commission to oppose the expansion. The association representing the state police chiefs is also opposed.

Legalizing digital moments for the lottery “would make it virtually impossible” to enforce the current raffle ban because players could click on legal games or the internet, Roxboro Police Chief David said. Hess, president of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police.

Lottery officials claim that the two types of gambling are not the same and that authorized online gambling is reportedly under state control and subject to strict regulation.

The business model presented on Tuesday shows that digital moments could generate $ 80 million in net revenue per year within five years. The state lottery won a total of $ 708 million for the 12 months ending last June. Like the currently limited, already permitted online ticket sales, “digital moments” would require minimum age verification and set limits on money transfers to ticket purchase accounts.

Crowder told reporters on Tuesday that the lottery never received such directives from the attorney general’s office and said it was under review. Crowder said the commission was undergoing a “methodical” and “deliberate” process.

“I want to make sure the North Carolina Education Lottery is successful,” said Crowder, appointed president by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. “It’s really about making sure we move forward in a manner consistent with state values ​​(and) focused on returning revenue for public education in the state of North Carolina.”

The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association is opposed to the expansion, fearing that online games could cannibalize their sales. The lottery business plan produced letters from the Kentucky and New Hampshire lotteries attempting to rebut this argument. The liberal-leaning North Carolina Justice Center and the conservative John Locke Foundation are also against the expansion.

Lawmakers disagree on online sales and could pass laws modifying licensed gambling. The members of the commission are chosen by the governor and the Republican legislative leaders. More than 30 House Democrats put their names on a letter last month pledging to work to ban digital instant lottery games if they were implemented.

As overall North Carolina lottery sales and net income for public education continue to grow, lottery executives have sought to tap into a new generation of players comfortable with computers and cell phones.


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