The Ohio Lottery has responded to retailer complaints by modifying its rules on cashing in sports bets.
As reported by WCPO, concerns had been raised regarding the amount of money that retailers were having to keep to hand, heightening the risk of potential robberies.
The Ohio Lottery, though, has now simplified its rules to put retailers at ease and make it easier for winning bets to be cashed in.
Previously, only the 1,100 Ohio Lottery retailers that had signalled an interest in hosting kiosks were allowed to cash in winning bets.
This was challenged by retail advocates including the National Federation of Independent Business, who argued that this should be extended to all lottery retailers in the state, comprising around 10,000.
“We have clarified Rule 3770:3-8-02 to make explicitly clear that Type C proprietors may allow non-host locations (all lottery retailers) to cash sports gaming prizes if they choose to do so,” Lottery Director Pat McDonald wrote to members of the Ohio General Assembly.
“This was always the lottery’s intention but is now clarified in rule to avoid stakeholder confusion on this issue.”
Regarding the safety issues, McDonald added: “There is no minimum cash amount required for hosts to have on-hand.
“Hosts may choose to limit the value of prizes they are willing to cash.”
McDonaldo also warned of the “significant technical and practical challenges” of expanding the cash in options for sports bettors, saying the process of verifying the validity of sports betting vouchers could actually decrease lottery profits.
He added: “In looking at other states’ sports betting programmes, type C sports gaming might only generate a few million dollars per year. This is a fraction of traditional lottery profits.
“We need to be mindful of these financial realities when being asked to consider additional commissions to non-host locations for cashing winning tickets.
“Those additional costs would decrease profits and could eliminate them completely.”
McDonald further confirmed that winning sports bets will be redeemable in person at lottery offices and via Mail, while they could also be payable on the MyLotto Rewards app.