Online Lottery – Playing the Lottery on the Go

Online lotteries are a novel way for lottery fans to enjoy their favorite games while on the go. While not all online lottery websites are mobile friendly, some are designed with the mobile user in mind. In fact, several states have launched apps to facilitate this type of play.

The first state to offer an online lottery was Illinois. After a successful pilot program in 2009, the state’s lottery grew from a mere $2 million in sales to more than a half billion by 2015. It was also the first state to have a legalized online lottery.

Initially, states like Illinois and New York declined to offer online lotteries because of a lack of clarity on the legality of such a service. However, a clarification from the Department of Justice helped open doors for states to experiment with online lotteries. A legal opinion was issued by the Department of Justice in 2011 that the Wire Act does not prohibit the sale of online lottery tickets.

Similarly, the District of Columbia recently launched its online games in January 2021. Earlier, New Hampshire made an effort to join the fray by legalizing an online lottery. Both New Jersey and Massachusetts are currently in the early stages of legalizing online lotteries. There are now six states that offer online lottery games: California, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Most of these jurisdictions have similar offerings, though there are some variations.

For example, the state of Georgia has a website that is a bit older than its neighboring states, but that was before IGT acquired the company two years ago. They have since released several instant games, which can be accessed via mobile applications. This is one of the best features of the state’s online lottery.

Another notable feature is the ability to buy lottery tickets from home. With many states facing budget deficits, this may be a game changer for the state’s gaming industry. Plus, with so much competition in the online casino space, online lotteries could potentially attract a younger demographic.

There are some disadvantages to playing online, such as the fact that players must have an internet connection in order to purchase a ticket. However, online lottery tickets are more secure than paper lottery tickets. Many lotto sites have SSL encryption software in place to keep customer data secure. Additionally, if a player wins a prize of more than $600, the site will automatically withhold a 24% federal tax. Some states require that a player be a native resident of the state to play in the state’s lotteries.

The best online lottery sites offer a wide variety of games. Some offer premium lines, while others have free games for birthdays. Despite the drawbacks, the ubiquity of the internet has helped online lottery services grow in popularity. When looking for the best site for your needs, it pays to do your research.

The best sites will not only offer you plenty of games, they will also give you the option to purchase your ticket via credit card or PayPal, so you won’t have to worry about losing your money. Also, reputable online lottery sites will be able to handle tax payments on any winnings over $600, and will likely send you a W2-G form.