The Pennsylvania Lottery was just as excited about the recent Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill as any casino.

The new legislation pushed the state’s lottery system into another echelon of gambling accessibility when it allowed gamblers to play the lottery online. A lottery spokesperson spoke with TribLive earlier this month, noting that the PA lottery plans on launching at least some of its online games this spring

In an interview with TribLive.com, Pennsylvania newsstand owner Al Lydic said he believes his lottery sales will skyrocket.

“The lottery is going to put three monitors on the wall here, and people will be able to play keno and sports betting. I’ll have a mini casino.”

How the new laws will affect the current setup

For the past 45 years, Pennsylvania’s lottery has offered, at one time or another a variety of games. The current lineup includes:

  • Keno
  • Instant win
  • Draw games
  • Virtual sports

The thought of these games going live on mobile devices and on monitors is tantalizing but, unfortunately, TribLIve’s source didn’t say which games would be available for purchase when the platform launches.

However, there’s a good chance that they’ll offer a full slate of games. The more revenue for the state, the better. And you can certainly bet on the fact they want to boost their revenue last year after seeing a dip in 2017 after seven-straight years of growth.

How Pennsylvania online lottery would compare to other states

There are currently four states who have functional online lotteries operating in their state:

  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky

Of those four, Michigan is the most similar to Pennsylvania because they’re running draw, instant win, and keno. In the second quarter of 2017, the state pulled in $20 million from online lottery sales.

Michigan is well known for the vigor with which they push their online lottery sales, and there’s nothing that would lead us to believe that Pennsylvania would be any different.

The state is trying to overcome a considerable deficit, which is part of the reason the gambling bill went through. Tens of millions of dollars will flow into the state via taxes and licensing fees.

While the state lottery doesn’t pour its money into the same state coffers that casinos do, the state’s senior citizens benefit from lottery donations to rent rebates and prescription drug subsidies, among other benefits.

Lottery will also oversee virtual sports, too

While online gambling is the state lottery’s biggest win, don’t forget that it also won the right to oversee virtual sports betting.

Virtual sports are fictional sporting events — football games, horse races, etc. — upon which gamblers bet on the outcome.

This type of sports gambling doesn’t offer quite the same thrill of live competitions but they’ve proven in other states to scratch the itch of those looking for action during downtime in the U.S. professional sports calendar.

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren is a freelance writer and author. He is a three-time winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest. His work has appeared in numerous blogs and publications including Bespoke Post, Snooth, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan and The Villages Daily Sun.