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TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, John Burzichelli, Reed Gusciora and Celeste Riley would allow people to buy New Jersey lottery tickets through the Internet, e-mail and other electronic means.
The bill (A-2676) directs the State Lottery Commission to implement a program that would allow residents to purchase lottery tickets directly from the Division of the State Lottery using the Internet, electronic mail, text messaging or other electronic methods.
“Most consumer-oriented businesses started taking advantage of modern technology a long time ago, but our lottery rules remain stuck in the past,” said Quijano (D-Union). “In such a commuter-heavy state, where people simply do not have time in their day to stop and purchase tickets, this program will allow the New Jersey Lottery to expand its clientele base and increase access to its games, bringing in much needed revenue for vital programs that help senior citizens, veterans and educational programs.”
“Players could purchase tickets using a debit card or a check or cash deposited with the division,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “It would streamline the whole process and just make it easier to play, hopefully increasing revenue for vital programs.”
“The lottery helps fund programs that are key to working class New Jerseyans, and the time has come for it to move into the 21st century, ” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “Consumers are used to goods being sold electronically by now, and the lottery should be no different.”
“If the lottery doesn’t keep pace with modern technology, it may become an afterthought for many New Jerseyans,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Salem/Gloucester). “The lottery must keep pace if it’s to remain successful.”
The bill was recently advanced by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee chaired by Burzichelli and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for more consideration.
Under the bill, the commission would establish procedures for the payment of winning tickets holders, which may include crediting amounts won to a player’s account or direct deposit into a player’s account at a financial institution.
The bill would allow the commission to operate the program using employees of the division or to contract with one or more qualified vendors to operate the program.
The commission would also be directed to ensure that the program includes security measures to protect against fraud, prevent wagering by underage persons and protect the personal and financial information of players. Additionally, the commission would be required to annually distribute five percent of the money raised through online lottery purchases back to all licensed lottery retailers in the state.
The program would be implemented in a way that is consistent with any applicable federal laws and any agreements addressing this state’s participation in multi-state lotteries.