New Jersey’s Lottery Commission has proposed a rule change to let people buy tickets online from the state.
But details as to how that would work are scarce — so scarce that all the agency said about the change is that the age restriction of 18 years old to play the lottery would remain.
The state has in recent years allowed lottery tickets to be bought online through two outside vendors, Jackpocket and lotto.com, but the latest proposal would let the state’s lottery division sell tickets online, too.
Dean Ialacci, a spokesperson for the agency, confirmed that “age-verification and Know Your Customer software and standards” would be used to make sure that account-holders are 18 or older.
Beyond that, he said, “planning for online sales is in its earliest stages, and many details will need to be worked out.”
NJ lottery contract: New lottery agreement with private operator Northstar expected to save NJ up to $100M
That planning includes how ticket payments would be processed and what possible changes would be made to the state’s contract with Northstar New Jersey, the private operator for the lottery’s sales and marketing.
The commission’s executive director, James Carey, proposed the changes at its July meeting and said the plan would be to sell only draw tickets online and that it was an opportunity for the department to update how it sells products. Draw games include choices like Pick-6 and Jersey Cash 5.
Carey noted at that meeting that there are no plans to sell scratch-offs online and that he doesn’t expect this to go into effect before late summer 2023.
He also acknowledged that he expects to have another set of detailed regulations explaining this, including what the terms of service will be and how to deal with player anonymity and player data.
He added that there is a “lot of work that will have to be done before the New Jersey Lottery engages in online sales” but that “online sales are something that any consumer-facing business needs to do if it wants to stay relevant.”
Lottery ticket sales are a major revenue source for the state. In 2021, the lottery set a record of $3.68 billion in ticket sales. Northstar gets a percentage of all sales and, if it hits its income targets, an incentive payment; in 2021 that payment was $23.4 million, according to the lottery’s annual report.
As is the case with all proposed changes to the lottery, there is a comment period of 60 days. The adoption will be on the commission’s agenda later this year. Written comments about the rule change can be submitted to the commission by Nov. 18, 2022.