Florida is trying to make changes to the lottery ticket purchasing process.
Other states in the U.S. are currently suing the federal government over the right to sell tickets through the online market.
Bradenton State Representative William Robinson says he doesn’t think the Florida Lottery should venture in the direction, he told Florida Politics. Robinson, a Republican in the state went on to point out a proliferation of third-party websites who claim an affiliation with the Florida Lottery itself but in fact they just make the prices higher.
“The lottery is significantly regulated,” Robinson told Florida Politics, “and that’s for a purpose.”
Last February, Robinson pointed out a story from NBC 6 South Florida News where a woman from Panama bought a ticket that wound up winning through TheLotter.com.
The attorney for TheLotter, Darian Stanford told Florida Politics said the company worked inside the store that the ticket was sold. Aura Dominguez Canto bought the ticket, the Panama woman had her slip printed and that the image was scanned and sent to the Israel-based site.
The woman made it apparent to the site after she showed up to claim the $30 million winning jackpot from a store that she had never been to. That is when the site realized what happened. The state of Florida wound up paying Canto the jackpot winnings but canceled the contract with the retailer.
Florida doesn’t directly or indirectly sell online tickets and Robinson doesn’t think it should it start, he told Florida Politics.
On Monday, Robinson laid out House Bill 629, a bill that could ultimately make purchasing lottery tickets and games online completely illegal.
House Bill 629 sets out plans to prohibit consumers from playing games or purchasing lottery tickets via a personal electronic device, limiting them to physical tickets only.
This bill and newly found legislation would also deal with any device that connects to the internet which includes cellphones, smart phones, tablets, watches, laptops and desktop computers.
The hearing for the bill was scheduled today as the Gaming Control Subcommittee and earned 15 votes, 10 “yeas”, four “misses” and one “nay,” according to MyFloridaHouse.gov.
The Florida House of Representatives site summed up Robinson’s bill as such:
“Prohibits use of personal electronic devices to play, store, redeem, sell, or purchase lottery tickets or games; provides exceptions; provides criminal penalties; requires DOL to include specified warning in advertisements or promotions of lottery games; requires contracts entered into between DOL & vendor to include provision that requires vendor to print specified warning on all lottery tickets.”
Reports indicate that new tickets will have these warning words on them and that new wording would need to cover at least 10 percent of the printed advertisement or ticketing that will apply to the same rule for television ads. Spoken form would come into the radio ads at the very end of the advertisements.
The measures above from the bill would come into effect from Jan. 1, 2020. However, the rules for tickets would not be into full effect until 12 months later.
With the move, Florida is now the second state who put this bill into place. New Mexico came up with a very similar proposal last month.