Kentucky’s state lottery has launched an online sales offering, bringing the number of US lotteries offering some form of online sales to four.
On Monday, the Kentucky Lottery’s website announced it was now offering online sales of both traditional draw tickets and instant win games. The state joins both Georgia and Michigan, which also offer draw tickets and instant win games, while Illinois currently offers only draw tickets online.
The launch of Play.kylottery.com, which is powered by International Game Technology, comes 18 months after the Kentucky Lottery Corp announced its intention to go online. The original launch target was Q3 2015 but encountered delays in ensuring the system was technologically secure, particularly in terms of geolocation services.
Players must have a verified Kentucky address and be physically present in the state to play online. Accounts can be funded online via credit or debit card or in person at the Lottery’s 3,200 retail points of sale. The Lottery has set online deposit caps of $200/day, $500/week and $1k/month.
The Lottery is initially offering five instant-win games ranging from 50¢ to $3. Such instant-win products have proven controversial in other states due to their resemblance to online slots games. The Minnesota Lottery, which was the first US state to launch instant-win online lottery products in February 2014, was forced offline after state legislators felt the Lottery had overstepped its mandate.
Kentucky Lottery CEO Arch Gleason said the online launch was necessary for the lottery to “be more attractive to a younger demographic who are accustomed to conducting a majority of their retail purchases online.” Gleason noted the need for the Lottery to offer a smartphone app to cater to this “very mobile” demographic, although the site notes that its app has been “temporarily discontinued” and a “new and improved app launch date will be announced in the future.”
Gleason rejected suggestions that the online sales posed a threat to retail lottery partners, saying the land-based outlets “are and will continue to be the most important part of our business.”
To back up this point, players who spend $20 or more in a single retail lottery transaction will receive a $5 online bonus. Players can also purchase vouchers from retailers for use in their online account
The Lottery says it expects first-year online sales will reach $7m, noting that ticket sales rose 6% in Michigan and 4% in Georgia in the first year following those states’ online launches.
MICHIGAN LOTTERY INKS DEAL WITH PAYPAL
In other online lottery news, the Michigan Lottery has inked a deal with online wallet service PayPal. The service, which took effect on Monday, allow players to make deposits to and withdrawals from their Michigan Lottery online accounts via their PayPal accounts.
The Michigan Lottery says over 276k state residents – out of a population of 10m – have signed up for online accounts since the Lottery launched its online site in 2014. The Lottery currently offers 30 instant-win games ranging from 50¢ to $20 and added four draw games – including PowerBall and Mega Millions – in January.