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How to Buy Lottery Tickets Online

Increasing numbers of states are moving to online sales of lottery tickets. It was long believed that the Federal Wire Act made it illegal to sell lottery tickets online, but as states come under increasing financial stress despite ever-increasing taxes, lawmakers are under tremendous pressure to raise revenue without raising taxes.

Then in late 2011, the Justice Department clarified its stance on the Wire Act. In December of that year, the Justice Department announced that it believed the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. This opened the door for state-by-state sales of online lotto tickets.

Only a few states have actually made the transition, but interest is growing. A few states already sell online lottery tickets and a few more states are looking into the idea. The train of thought goes something like this:

“If we allow online lottery ticket sales, more people will buy tickets. This will lead to increased revenue to the state without raising taxes.”

And so far, it appears that line of thought has been right on the money. Illinois was the first state to sell lottery tickets online and reported online sales of $425,000 in the first week alone.

Note: Customers must be located within state lines to buy tickets or play games online through that state’s online lottery system.

In some cases, you must also be a resident of that state. This means users located in Colorado, for example, are not eligible to play instant win games offered by the Georgia Lottery or buy subscriptions online from the Virginia lottery.

Authorized online lottery websites make use of geolocation technology to ensure every customer attempting to make a purchase is located within state lines. Attempts to purchase tickets from out of state will be detected and automatically blocked.

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