Ohio Lottery Pushes For Online Expansion Amid More Competition

The Buckeye State is slowly becoming a hub for online gambling. The advent of sports betting was the first step, and now, operators are beginning to lobby for further expansion in the state.

It appears online lottery games could be next.

Ohio Lottery wants to go digital

Last week, the Ohio Lottery started to make its case for iLottery in the state. According to Cleveland.com, Ohio Lottery Director Michelle Gillcrist said:

“Competition from other gaming activities remains a challenge, Ohioans now have an unprecedented number of gaming alternatives in which to use their discretionary income.”

Currently, Ohioans can only play the lottery by visiting a participating retail location within the state. iLottery could bring options such as Mega Millions, Powerball, and state-specific games into the digital era.

The Ohio Lottery sees this as a massive opportunity. Neighboring and nearby states already offer iLottery games or are on the verge of doing so. These include:

Notably, those markets also offer online sports betting and online casinos.

Lottery courier services already offered in Ohio

Third-party companies like Jackpot.com already supply “online” services to players. These companies let players purchase tickets via an app with an added fee. Runners then purchase the physical tickets and transfer any prizes directly to the player.

Proponents of iLottery in Ohio say formalizing online play from the organization itself would bring costs down for players by eliminating courier fees and adding a new revenue stream for the state by making it easier to buy tickets.

iLottery far from Ohio’s only notable online gambling topic

iLottery is one of many online gambling-related issues currently being discussed in Ohio. Sports betting operators recently decried the state’s tax rate, which doubled from 10% to 20% about six months following the launch of online sportsbooks.

Online casinos are also a major topic of discussion. Stakeholders in the state urged lawmakers to open the doors for online casinos in the state at a recent hearing. Time will tell whether anything comes of these early efforts.


Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a contributor for PlayiLottery who spent six years working at Scientific Games, one of the world's leading lottery operators. He writes for a handful of Catena Media sites, covering online lottery, iGaming, sports betting, and more. A prolific writer in the US gaming market, Cole also has bylines at iGaming Business, ICE 365, and IGB North America. You can email him at [email protected].
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