As casinos of Pennsylvania begin to focus on online gaming operations, a request has been made to see online lottery games suspended.
In the fall of 2017, lawmakers in Pennsylvania decided to pass a gaming package law that would allow several expansions to be made within the gambling industry. Included in the mix were online lottery game play, online casino and poker gaming. The online lottery has already launched and proven to be very successful. Despite the games already in operation, the thirteen casino operators in the region want to see the lottery suspend online games as they prepare for iGaming.
The casinos want the state to stop offering online lottery games, as they feel the gaming option is a direct and illegal intrusion to the online games they are preparing to offer. The casino operators would like to see the Department of Revenue, the overseer of the lottery, to work with them to create a lawful online lottery program.
If the gaming operators do not receive a response by the state by the 3rd of July, the group plans on taking legal action. The Administration of Governor Wolf have yet to comment on the position of the casinos regarding the lottery online games.
The Governor signed off on the online lottery, with services offering 11 gaming titles, all of which can be played via computer, mobile or tablet. The casinos have stated that the law that allows online lottery gaming bars the Lottery from providing players with games that simulate casino-style lottery games, particularly roulette, blackjack, slot games and poker.
The casinos feel that the online lottery games are the same as what they offer on their gaming floors. The slot machines they provide are considered the ‘backbone’ of their industry and the lottery games are far too similar according to operators. The lottery provides online games that are played for penny or dime denominations and may require a player to place a side bet or use a multiplier to earn a bigger win.
The Lottery has even reportedly admitted to offering marketing materials that are in violation of the law as they promote slot style gaming along with casino style games, according to the casinos letter. The casinos also have an issue with the lottery games being available to players who are 18 years of age or older. With casinos, players have to be 21 years of age to be able to take part.
The casinos are arguing that the online lottery games give the younger audience the ability to play casino style games, options that they would normally have to wait to play when visiting a casino. The casinos point out in their letter that the same players enjoying the lottery games would be prosecuted if they played the same type of games at their venues.
The casinos also reportedly asked the Lottery to provide a demonstration of their games before they were launched to the public, but the games were not provided. The Lottery looks at their online offerings as a way to help senior citizens as proceeds go to this group of residents.
With the online lottery offering, Pennsylvania is the 7th state in the US to offer such gaming options. It should be expected that the online lottery sales would continue, as the officials will not be willing to shut down after operations just began.
It will be interesting to see how the officials of the Wolf Administration deal with the request of the casinos and if they actually consider cutting off the gaming for a short time as operators consider their online casino and poker gaming.