Iowa Bill Would Ban Lottery Courier Services In The State

Iowa legislators are taking steps toward banning lottery courier services from operating in the state.

A bill working through the Iowa Senate would prevent these third-party lottery providers from being legal. These companies offer customers the ability to buy their lottery draw games online.

During a Senate subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, the topic was discussed between state officials, as well as representatives from Lotto.com and Jackpocket.

Iowa has already denied an application from Jackpocket to operate in the state, but this would go further to prevent any courier service from launching.

New bill would see lottery couriers prohibited in Iowa

Originally House Bill 723, but now SF2427, the first version of this pending legislation dealt with taxation and record keeping for a variety of industries. Included in that was the Iowa Lottery.

The bill was introduced on Feb. 13, has made it through the House, and was passed onto the Senate.

The way the bill is currently laid out, the language includes the following:

A person shall not do any of the following:

a. Act or operate as a lottery courier

b. Do business with a lottery courier

Another section includes added details about retailers selling tickets to couriers:

A retailer shall not sell tickets or shares in a lottery game to any of the following:

a. A lottery courier

After Wednesday’s meeting, the Senate committee advanced the bill and placed it on the Iowa Ways and Means calendar.

Lottery courier services offer online sales for retail tickets

During Wednesday’s Senate subcommittee, representatives for some of the courier services spoke with legislators in hopes of getting the law changed.

Jake Ketzner, a lobbyist for Lotto.com, described their business to Iowa lawmakers as the “Uber Eats” for lottery.

These courier operators exist in states that don’t have legalized online lotteries. They partner with a local in-state retail provider to offer their services.

A customer signs up for an account with the platform and then can purchase retail tickets for their state lottery through the courier application.

The courier service then purchases the tickets at the retail locations, scans them, and sends a copy to the customer.

Should a ticket win, the customer has the money placed into their online account on the app. If they win a major prize, the courier sets up a way for the ticket to be delivered to the customer for them to take to lottery offices to claim their prize.

Though the sales of tickets take place online, the money still goes toward retail lottery sales for the state since the courier service purchases them in person.

The sales also still go into a respective state’s lottery fund. The courier service just makes money based on the fees they charge their customers.

There are currently three primary courier services in operation in the US:

  • Jackpocket: 18 states
  • Lotto.com: 9 states
  • Jackpot.com: 5 states

 

Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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