Conjecture about the upcoming May and June iLottery launch has been feverish.
The Pennsylvania Lottery’s recent release of some of its regulations cooled that speculation though. These regulations don’t provide a tremendous amount of clarity, but they do temper speculation. They do so by narrowing the range of possibilities of what the lottery’s online products will look like. Also, the regulations are labeled “temporary”, which means they’ll most likely change in the future.
The regulations appeared on The Pennsylvania Bulletin’s website this past Friday.
Lottery games will not resemble casino games
Amid the rather dry set of rules and restrictions included in the regulations for iLottery, there are two sentences that provide a decent amount of insight into how the games will look once they’re live.
First, the regulations make it clear that the lottery’s online games will not resemble casino games.
Here’s the exact wording:
“The term does not include games that represent physical, Internet-based or monitor-based interactive lottery games which simulate casino-style lottery games, specifically including poker, roulette, slot machines and blackjack.”
In other words, the lottery, as the rules are written now, is an entity which will offer various games unrelated to online casino games in the way that they function. It’s conceivable that there could be a poker-themed lottery game that doesn’t violate the casino look-alike rule.
Now, this rule by itself doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of clarity. The very next sentence in the regulations, however, describes what an “instant win” game will look like:
“A lottery game of chance in which, by the use of a computer, tablet computer or other mobile device, a player purchases a play, with the result of play being a reveal on the device of numbers, letters or symbols indicating whether a lottery prize has been won according to an established methodology as provided by the Lottery.”
While the document doesn’t list definitions of any other types of games, we do know that the lottery’s’ offerings will go beyond instant-win games because, earlier in the document, they mention “other lottery products offered through iLottery” that aren’t of the instant-win format.
Whichever games launch, those games will be available at iLottery terminals in bars. At some point, games will be available on phones, tablets and computers.
Other possibilities for iLottery
Initially, it was thought that the lottery would release the following formats of online games:
- Instant win
- Draw games
- Virtual sports
The first three games were scheduled to launch in May with virtual sports debuting on VLTs in June.
The latest information from the Pennsylvania lottery indicates that instant win games will be available at launch. Whether the original plan of making the others available by June is up in the air.