New York Considers Instant Lottery Ticket App

The move has convenience retailers concerned about lost lottery revenue.

March 02, 2021

ALBANY, N.Y.—New York’s $15 billion deficit has lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo scrambling for ways to raise cash, including mobile sports betting and lottery tickets, the Motley Fool reports. Other states are also considering similar proposals.

Lottery retailers like convenience stores count not only on lottery ticket revenue but also on the increased foot traffic and ancillary transactions that in-store lottery ticket purchases bring. For 54 years, convenience stores have partnered with the New York lottery, helping to create a $10 billion annual business. These convenience retailers only receive a small fraction of each ticket sale—6%—the same as when the lottery began in 1967.

Currently, customers must pay cash in person to buy New York lottery tickets. Lottery apps would allow players to buy tickets anywhere, with the actual order fulfilled by a licensed lottery retailer. The app delivers the digital ticket to the player’s device. Jackpocket also allows customers to play in several states at the same time, including Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Texas.

The silver lining is that scratch-off ticket wins must be claimed in stores. However, during a time when foot traffic has fallen for many retailers across all channels, mobile gambling and lottery apps might not be greeted with fanfare by convenience store owners and operators.

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