The Michigan Lottery says the number of players making use of its online site has nearly quadrupled since the product made its debut.
Michigan launched online sales in November 2014, offering both draw ticket sales and instant win games via website or mobile app. By January 2015, Michigan Lottery Bureau commissioner Scott Bowen said the site’s sales were “going well” but still represented “less than one percent of our business.”
Around 86k players registered with the site shortly after it launched. This week, the Lottery announced that the number of registered players has since swelled over 300% to 322k (about 3% of the state’s total population).
These players have generated $147m in online sales and the Lottery Bureau expects this figure to rise to $480m by the time the site is eight years old. The site currently offers around 30 instant games as well as keno.
State Senator Rick Jones told WLNS that he was no fan of gambling but said people were going to gamble regardless of the state’s position so “we should probably regulate it and we should probably grab some tax dollars off of it.”
Only four state lotteries currently offer some form of online sales, with Georgia and Kentucky boasting both draw tickets and instant win games, while Illinois – the first state to take its action online back in 2012 – is still offering only draw ticket sales.
Last week, a committee of Massachusetts legislators approved a bill that would allow the state lottery to offer a variety of online products, including daily fantasy sports and social casino games, although the state has a lot of resistance yet to overcome before it joins the online party.