AUSTIN, Texas—Last November, the Texas Lottery started allowing Dollar General to sell lottery tickets in any checkout lane, including Powerball and Mega Millions, the Telegraph Herald reports. While other retailers sell lottery tickets, they must do so from cash-only vending machines or at the store’s service center.
Later this year though, the Texas Lottery will expand the pilot program to other retailers, as more states consider similar moves. Currently Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, let people purchase lottery tickets online. Only five states have no lottery.
“I can tell you that there's more and more competition now in the marketplace than there was before,” said David Gale, executive director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. You used to have “to get on a plane and go to either New Jersey or Las Vegas” to play in a casino. “Now, everybody is within a three-hour car ride to some sort of casino,” he said.
Texas Lottery officials view in-lane sales as a way to significantly up revenue, with Dollar General saying the new option has been “well received” by customers. Lotteries in Arizona and Kentucky are also exploring in-lane sales. “The reason we're trying to work so hard to get this in-lane is because it offers us another distribution point, and it probably helps impulse sales,” said Tom Delacenserie, CEO of the Kentucky Lottery. “For the consumer, it just makes it easier because it's one less stop they have to make in that store.”