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Online lottery sales plan

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Updated: 8/20/2013 11:48 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- There is a new proposal in Florida to sell lottery tickets online.

When the prize goes up, so do lottery ticket sales. It's a $4 billion a year industry in Florida. But playing the numbers could soon be just a click away. We found out there's a new proposal to sell lottery tickets online.

Players like Francis Morais call it convenient.

"This is the new millenium. With Internet, everybody has got it," said Morais.

According to the latest report from the Department of Education, $1.4 billion from the lottery went to education last fiscal year. We wanted to know if money from online sales would also benefit education. State lottery officials say they don't know how the proposed plan would work.

An Action News investigation last year revealed changes to lottery policy in the past have short-changed our schools. At one point, Duval County got more than $32 million in discretionary spending money from the lottery. That's money that can be spent anyway district leaders want with no strings attached. The latest numbers from 2011 and 2012 show the district received a little more than $370,000.

With falling numbers, we called State Sen. John Thrasher. He says the online lottery sales proposal sends up red flags, but not for the reasons you might think. "I think the security of it, the integrity and the games need to be vetted," said Thrasher.

Meanwhile, parents just hope any new money going to the lottery makes it to their child's classroom.

"It may get some people to purchase tickets. If they stress education more, maybe more people would," said parent Sophia Ragland.

Action News called about a half-dozen states Tuesday and lottery spokesmen told us it's difficult to monitor online sales because they can't sell tickets to people out of state. Illinois was the first state to start selling online. A spokesman there told us, in the first year of doing it, only 2 percent of their yearly earnings were from online sales.

Right now lawmakers say it is unclear if the plan violates Florida's online gaming laws. A special commission will look into that.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

osprey1 - 8/21/2013 9:49 AM
0 Votes
I thought "online gambling" was illegal or was that just for the common people and the owners of all the computerized gambling places that sprung up. The state didn't take very long in shutting them down and now were talking about "online gambling" for the lottery. Is this the governments way of telling us they need more than their fair share of our money ?

wishmistress - 8/21/2013 1:57 AM
1 Vote
Creating some type of 'membership' for residents would be great....and not so great. Sorry, but I would most likely play more if I could buy the tickets online. I don't play very often now, 'cause, well, gee...I need to eat. Which brings me to the other part of me that doesn't like the idea of online sales. Not only would those of us who really shouldn't be spending the $$ be spending it, but those who are the reason that we have no $$ will be using our $$ to buy their tickets. Let's see; lap dances, alcohol, internet, O phones, etc. Might as well add an extra easy way to play the lotto for them, eh?
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