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The bill didn’t garner much attention initially, as at first blush it simply allows licensed courier services to purchase lottery tickets for and delivery lottery tickets to New Jersey residents.
This all sounds innocuous enough, as a courier service for lottery tickets conjures up images of a customer ordering tickets and those tickets being hand delivered to their door.
However, as noted Sunday by the Press of Atlantic City, based on the purchasing and potential delivery methods articulated by the bill, it also appears to set the stage for the state to license third-party companies to sell lottery tickets online.
The bill’s summary text begins by making the case for licensing and regulation, with no obvious mention of the concept of online sales:
This bill would require the State Lottery Commission to register and authorize the operation of courier services for the purchase and delivery solely of State lottery tickets within the State of New Jersey. No lottery ticket courier service would be permitted to operate unless it has been registered with the State Lottery Commission and has been authorized by the commission to operate as a courier service. This bill would protect all lottery purchasers, and in particular senior citizens, from unregulated and uncontrolled operators who would purchase and deliver State lottery tickets for a fee or commission without governmental regulation or oversight.
Only in the meat of the bill itself does the broader scope starts to come into focus:
In accordance with the rules and regulation promulgated by the commission, the courier service shall be permitted to redeem a lottery ticket on behalf of a customer utilizing the service in a manner that is secure for that customer and transparent to the public.
In lieu of delivery of a purchased lottery ticket to a customer utilizing the courier service, a courier service may store such ticket on behalf of that customer, with the customer’s consent, if the courier service provides an electronic receipt of the ticket purchased with the numbers of the ticket shown on the receipt.
The conditions described in the bill effectively create an online system that encompasses every part of a consumer’s lottery experience.
The only open question at this point is whether the state lottery will roll out lottery games designed specifically for this delivery format.