In December 2011, the US Department of Justice handed down a legal opinion regarding the Federal Wire Act that prohibits certain types of gambling activities. The opinion stated the act only applied to sports betting, paving the way for individual states to sell lottery tickets online. Since then, a handful of states have begun online lottery sales.
Online lottery promo codes
Most states offering an online lottery also offer a promo code, also known as a bonus coupon. These are used to entice potential players and to provide those who sign up with extra advantages for their first few games. By entering a promo code during account registration, players receive access to welcome bonuses.
Not all lotteries require a promo code. For example, although the Kentucky Lottery automatically adds their sign-up bonus to a player’s account, other lotteries, such as the Michigan online lottery, require the use of a promo code as well as Pennsylvania which uses a bonus code.
Some websites offer exclusive bonus codes that award better bonuses than what’s available to the public.
Prior to registering for any online lottery, it is important for players to double check exactly how their state’s promotional offer or registration bonus works.
Types of online lottery bonuses
There are several types of bonuses for US iLotteries, and each state offers something different to entice its potential players to sign up or its current players to deposit more.
First deposit offers are by far the most popular type of iLottery bonus, and these are triggered when a new customer deposits a predefined amount of money into their online account. These bonuses vary. Some offer to double your money, whereas others provide you with a number of free spins or credits for some or all of their online lottery games.
The Michigan iLottery, for example, offers a 50% bonus credit up to $100 when a new customer registers using a promo code.
On the other hand, some internet lotteries run recurring offers for their existing customers. For example, the Kentucky online lottery runs the Cash Cookout and Jumbo-Size Your Summer promotions, where players can win prizes totting up to as much as $50,000.
Each online lottery has its own sign-up bonuses, promotions, and special offers. Some of these run constantly, while others are only available seasonally or at certain times of the year.
Typical bonus terms and restrictions
Promotional codes, bonuses, and special offers come with several restrictions attached to them. Players should always read the terms and conditions of any iLottery website to know exactly what to expect; however, there are a few general rules that apply to virtually all online lotteries throughout the United States.
Time limits are the most common restriction. Bonus offers commonly expire within a certain time after activation and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
For example, the Michigan iLottery’s bonus offer expires after 24 hours, and this applies to both the registration offer and any other bonus credit or cash that may be applied to a player’s account. On the other hand, Kentucky’s online lottery does not set a time limit for its first-time deposit bonus.
Withdrawal restrictions are also commonly hidden in the fine print. Online lotteries will sometimes prevent a player from withdrawing any winnings gained through a bonus or credit until a certain amount of time has elapsed since winning, or until a second deposit is made.
The Michigan online lottery states that any cash prize won from a promotion can only be withdrawn after a player has made an initial deposit. The Kentucky online lottery provides players with a two-day window to claim prizes from their Grill Up A Win Cash Cookout online promotion.
Eligibility criteria are prerequisites to taking advantage of the more lucrative promotions. Online lotteries want to reward loyalty and the more players deposit and play, the better their bonuses and rewards will be.
The Kentucky Lottery’s $25 Millionaire Jumbo Bucks promotion, for instance, is only open to players who are members of their “Fun Club.”
Other eligibility criteria relate to the individual player’s status. Players of online lotteries in any state must be 18 years of age or over, and provide an address, date of birth, a valid form of identification, and their social security number. Often, they can only be played by those physically located within a state (e.g., Michigan’s online lottery), but this varies on a state-by-state basis.
Loyalty programs, a.k.a. VIP programs or clubs, are a way for online lotteries to reward their veteran players with bonuses that go above and beyond those available to regular players.
Not all online lotteries offer these programs. The most notable vendor is the Michigan iLottery, which rewards their most loyal patrons who have “Players Club” accounts with free tickets for their state-specific lotteries and instant online games.
Why do these restrictions exist?
It is important to remember that online lotteries exist to make money and, even though it is possible to win huge amounts of cash, they must try and recuperate their losses through various means.
Online lotteries offer sign-up bonuses and special promotions to entice new players and to encourage existing ones to deposit money and participate more often in the website’s instant-win games and draw games.
By having time limits in place, players feel a sense of urgency to use their bonus before it expires, which benefits the online lottery. These limits also serve to limit instances of bonus abuse by malicious individuals.
Other restrictions such as eligibility criteria are put in place as a means to ensure only legally eligible players are participating. The United States has strict gambling laws, and these restrictions protect both the state and the consumer.
Additional eligibility criteria are enforced so that the lottery’s more frequent players benefit from being loyal customers.
Online lotteries were not legal in the United States until the end of 2011. It is likely that as more states begin to offer online lotteries, the bonuses, promotions, games, and loyalty programs that are offered will only increase in number.