February 15, 2022

Hoosier Lottery could need legislative OK for online games

The Indiana Senate’s tax committee added provisions to a bill that would require legislative approval before the lottery commission could begin online games or ticket sales. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana Senate’s tax committee added provisions to a bill that would require legislative approval before the lottery commission could begin online games or ticket sales.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana lawmakers are looking to block the Hoosier Lottery from starting online games or ticket sales without their permission.

State lottery officials have been discussing since 2019 the possibility of joining other states in selling lottery tickets and offering other games online.

The Indiana Senate’s tax committee on Tuesday added provisions to a bill that would require the Legislature’s approval before the state lottery commission could begin online games or ticket sales.

The move comes after reports of Hoosier Lottery staff meeting with legislative leaders to update them on possible contract changes with the company that oversees the lottery’s sales and marketing operations.

House Speaker Todd Huston told The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette it appeared the lottery had the legal authority to move forward with online games under current law without legislative approval.

But Scot Imus, executive director of the Indiana Food and Fuel Association, said that lottery law was written in 1989 before cellphones existed and legislators couldn’t have understood it would be used to justify a full online lottery.

Imus said convenience stores and other retailers represented by his group now sell about 90% of all lottery tickets and that they are worried about the impact of online lottery games on their businesses.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Indiana taxpayer refund paper checks are finally going out, with added inflation relief
Rep. Jackie Walorski remembered for her faith, conviction at funeral service
Indiana officer critically wounded in traffic stop shooting