The New York State Gambling Commission (NYSGC) is considering a proposal to restrict advertising by lottery courier services, as well as adding problem gambling messaging to these marketing activities. 

Specifically, the proposal under review would prevent lottery couriers from engaging in ‘false, deceptive or misleading advertising’, such as implying that customers can purchase tickets and play the lottery via their services.

Instead, couriers are limited to advertising their primary services, which are to purchase lottery tickets from licensed lottery sale agents, and deliver these tickets to paying customers.

Digital lottery app provider Jackpocket has objected to the proposals, stating that the Commission was aware that by approving courier services it was “establishing a new method for playing the lottery” and regulated “with that goal in mind.”

According to Jackpocket’s last trading update, digital lottery courier orders increased in all states where the app was available since the third quarter of 2022.

The group’s counterargument to the NYSGC defended the slogan ‘a new way to play’, stating that this is ‘exactly what a lottery courier service provides’.

Jackpocket informed the Commission: “‘A convenient new way for everyone to play the lottery’ is an accurate description and that describing yourself as a ‘digital lottery courier’ does not properly address the underlying lottery gaming activity actually taking place.”

In support of its argument, the firm has cited a survey of its customers that shows that 88.6% believe that the service is a ‘convenient way to play NY lottery games’.

The Commission further outlined that Jackpocket asserted that “solicitations of ‘playing the lottery’ are an unnecessary overreach” that could lead to ‘unintended consequences and unfavourable economic conditions’, but did not explain what these could be. 

The firm did, however, share its belief that the changes could lead to less participation in the lottery system, and called for more clarifying language around the issue. 

If adopted, the proposal will incorporate the advertising guidelines of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lottery Advertising guidelines, centred on encouraging responsible lottery marketing.

This will also require lottery couriers to adopt problem gambling assistance messaging to their marketing in a similar fashion to casinos. 

Courier services will be required to submit draft advertisements to the Commission at least 15 days prior to distribution, after which time the regular will have 10 days to determine if the material meets regulations.