Pennsylvania Aims For Springtime Launch Of Its Online Lottery

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Authorizing online lottery was one part of this Pennsylvania legislature’s major gambling laws last year.

The lottery growth component was largely overshadowed by the bill’s big-ticket items,¬†¬†like online casinos and satellite casinos. But it appears the online lottery will conquer both to the punch.

The Pennsylvania Lottery expects to get its online lottery offerings up and running by the spring, according to an unnamed lottery spokesperson who spoke with the Tribune-Review.

That’s welcome news for the nation’s lottery.

After years of sustained growth, lottery earnings dropped by three percent in 2017. The decline, attributed to aging lottery clients, is not a Pennsylvania problem. It’s felt by states throughout the country.

Unsurprisingly, Pennsylvania looks to “modernize” lottery offerings. How? By selling lottery tickets and products online.

How has online lottery performed in other states?

Full-service online lotteries currently exist in four other states (New Hampshire is expected to launch an online lottery in ancient 2018):

Results are mixed.

Michigan online lottery, a state with approximately 10 million residents, generated $20 million in online sales in Q2 2017, according to the Eilers & Krejcik Gambling Lottery Tracker.

Illinois’ 13 million residents generated just $6.2 million during the same period. This, also according to E&K tracker.

Several factors contribute to these divergent numbers:

Michigan has more online lottery products (draw, instant win, and keno);
The state heavily markets its online lottery;
It provides incentives to open an online account; and
it supplies a good return to players (RTP).
What to expect from Pennsylvania’s online lottery

It’s unclear which type of RTP Pennsylvania will offer. But based on the games available, expect the Keystone State to perform more like Michigan than Illinois.

According to the Tribune-Review, Pennsylvania’s online lottery will offer even more games than Michigan’s:

Draw games
Instant win games
Virtual sports

The Pennsylvania online lottery are also available in more areas than Michigan’s. Including mobile devices, as well as on video monitors at brick-and-mortar lottery retailers.

“The lottery is going to put three monitors on the wall, and people will have the ability to play keno and sports betting; I’ll have a mini casino,” an excited Greensburg News proprietor Al Lydic told the Tribune-Review.

The state is banking on significant revenue from its online lottery. Like its gambling growth package, the Pennsylvania Lottery is going all-in on online revenue, both in terms of products and availability.

By adding online games, the state gives present players more options and probably refreshes its participant base by attracting new, younger players.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming believes Pennsylvania “has the potential to have the biggest iLottery sales within a couple of years.”

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