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Anne Lindner
 

California Lottery Addresses Internet Resellers

21 February 2002

The California Lottery is trying to get the word out that Internet sales of California lottery tickets are illegal.

The state issued the warning last week, when the lottery's SuperLotto Plus jackpot reached a record $191 million. Only the state's 19,000 authorized retailers are allowed to sell the tickets, the lottery organization said. Residents of neighboring states are allowed to buy the tickets, but anyone buying a ticket must be 18 or older and present in California at the time of the purchase.


"We want our customers to understand that legal tickets are available at our authorized locations only and that any Internet or out-of-state sites are simply not legal."
- Joan Wilson
California Lottery

"We want our customers to understand that legal tickets are available at our authorized locations only and that any Internet or out-of-state sites are simply not legal," said Joan Wilson, the lottery's director.

The rules about being in California and being at least 18 years old present problems for Internet sales, lottery spokeswoman Cathy Doyle Johnston added.

"People buying them online are buying them across the country, and so they are not present in California when they are buying the ticket," Johnston said.

What's more, purchasing a lottery ticket from a third party violates the rule that states that a ticket must be bought from an authorized seller.

"You're not buying it from a retailer; you're buying it from a person on the Internet who's buying it from a retailer," Johnston said.

Johnston said she knew of two sites that had been offering California lottery tickets, but that the last time she checked them they were shut down. One of the sites, mylotteryclub.com, declined an interview with IGN. The other site, Johnston said, is California-lotto-superstore.com.

Johnston said she did not know whether the state is taking legal action against the sites.

Another issue for lotto players who might look to the Internet to buy tickets is the honesty of the site, she said. At least one site, Johnston said, takes customers' money and then sends them scanned copies of the tickets instead of the originals. She also said it would not be difficult to imagine that if it was holding the original winning tickets, the lottery Web site would collect the winnings and keep them for itself.

"It's just not safe, and it's not legal," Johnston said. "And we don't want people trying to play the California lottery to get duped."

California Lottery Addresses Internet Resellers is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner