Hoosier Lottery faces Indiana fight over online scheme

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The Hoosier Lottery has received pushback by Indiana lawmakers in response to the former’s bid to sell tickets and offer other games online, as reported by Inside Indiana Business.

Since 2019, state lottery officials have been in talks regarding the possibility of implementing the same measures used in other states, with reports of Hoosier Lottery staff meeting legislative leaders to update them on potential contract changes with the company that oversees the lottery’s sales and marketing operations.

As reported by Inside Indiana Business, House Speaker Todd Huston told The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) that the lottery could have the legal authority to continue with its plans under current law, without legislative approval.

But on February 15, the Indiana Senate’s tax committee added provisions to a bill that would require the Legislature’s approval before the state lottery commission could begin online games or ticket sales.

The main argument centres around lottery law written in 1989, before mobile phones were in wide circulation. Scot Imus, Executive Director of the Indiana Food and Fuel Association, claims that legislators could not have understood it would have been used to justify a full online lottery.

According to Imus, convenience stores and other retailers represented by his group sell about 90% of all lottery tickets, heightening concerns that online lottery games could have a damaging impact on their businesses.