We have already covered first reactions of US gambling industry to the Department of Justice’s change view of the Wire Act 1961 in our United States Gambling Giants Applaud DoJ Surrender article. Other industry players continue to express their approval.
New York has been already offering online subscription services for state residents to participate in Lotto and Mega Millions drawings since 2005. The news on DoJ statement was also well received by the state’s key gambling figures.
Gordon Medenica, director of the New York Lottery, revealed that his organization had created a wider online gaming system for New York, yet that the company that put the whole system together was extremely cautious about moving forward because it feared legal trouble under current American gambling laws.
Medenica said: “We’ve been waiting for a couple years. We’re thrilled that this ruling has now come down and confirmed that our legal analysis was correct all along.”
The New York Lottery official told United States gambling news that the state has plans to add two additional jackpot games, Powerball and Sweet Million, to the current online lottery subscription offerings, which would allow New York residents to purchase single-draw tickets online for the first time in history.
Illinois lottery officials also praised the Department of Justice new stance. The superintendent of the Illinois Lottery, Michael Jones, commented: “When you look at the Internet, which is what everybody uses these days to buy everything, it seemed like a very, very logical thing to use the Internet to increase the player base.”
He stressed that states are in dire financial straits, and the potential opportunity to use the lottery online is a major step forward in order to raise much needed revenue in a non-tax way.
He said that online sales would make it easier for the lottery to regulate purchases. Jones added: “Right now we can’t guard against someone walking into a lottery retailer and buying too many tickets and behaving excessively. Now with credit card purchases, we can guard against excessive play. Illinois could begin selling lottery tickets online in as soon as three months.”
Massachusetts joins its colleagues with Steven Grossman, the Massachusetts state treasurer and the chairman of the state’s Lottery Commission, describing the DoJ opinion as a “turbocharged opportunity to engage new markets.” He commented: “This will put additional pressure on Congress and others to allow online poker sites in United States and other Internet gambling.”
Grossman had already estimated potential online gambling market at $6 billion annually. He opined that there was a real potential for billions in taxation over time, and that the United States had already lost billions of dollars to offshore gambling operators due to the DoJ’s previous position on online gambling.