There will soon be additional betting options in North Carolina. The North Carolina Education Lottery which runs one of the state’s biggest gambling operations is thinking of expanding online. This move is mainly in response to the challenges that lotteries face when it comes to offering products that will interest more people.
Going digital is a great way for the lottery to grow. This new initiative is called the Digital Instant Program and offers new products for people to try online. However, this move has caused a lot of controversy as online gambling opponents are not in favour of an online lottery in North Carolina.
Research shows that the program could potentially generate between $369 million and $554 million in revenue. This is for the first five years alone. This is a big sum of money and it will mainly go towards funding local schools and scholarships.
A representative for the North Carolina Education Lottery said everything has evolved and the internet is now fully mainstream which is why they believe it is time to take the lottery and make it available online.
Critics are pointing out that online gambling allows for easy access to wagering. People can easily make bets on impulse, which can become pretty addictive over time. Denton pointed out that the lottery commission is aware of this and is pushing for a responsible gambling message. This is why the new games have deposit limits that are set by the lottery. Whenever someone plays, the online system keeps track of their wagers and has an automatic cut-off at $4,000 a month. Players can also set their limits.
Gambling Opponents Not Happy
However, Alfred Ripley, with the North Carolina Justice Center, thinks that those restrictions are not enough. He is strongly against the online lottery program. One of the statistics that he points to is the fact that you will find the heaviest gamblers in the state come from the poorest counties in the state.
North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein has sent out a letter of concern to the lottery commission about how this digital program might harm communities and families in the state.
The lottery commission countered the argument by stating that over five states are already using similar online lottery games and already more than half of the countries nationwide are considering similar programs. The plan is still in review though and the final decision for implementing it will be made after a vote in the commission.