The Pennsylvania Lottery is just three months away from launching its first online games.
However, details of the launch — other than that it is planned for May — have been hard to come by. (Online casino and poker are also coming to PA, with a date later in 2018 likely for a rollout.)
Gov. Tom Wolf has said via his budget that he plans on online games creating more revenue for the state.
Pennsylvania Lottery spokesman Gary Miller corresponded with Online Poker Report recently regarding what he could tell us about plans for iLottery.
OPR: I saw that the lottery is looking to the model for the Michigan online lottery. What are you seeing there that makes you want to emulate what they’ve done?
Miller: We are looking at successful iLottery models across the industry, including in Michigan and other states that were early adopters. Pennsylvania and Michigan have a lot in common demographically and currently, they are the US iLottery industry leader.
We have had some discussions with other iLottery states and are adopting various best practices that are working well elsewhere.
OPR: Have you done or used any research on online lottery’s cannibalization on land-based retailers or a lack thereof?
Miller: In other US iLottery states, we have seen growth in land-based lottery sales. We expect to experience the same here. We anticipate that by attracting new players and broadening their awareness of lottery games, it will help to grow sales of traditional games.
OPR: Can you tell me who the tech supplier is?
Miller: We are not yet ready to announce.
OPR: Is geolocation and know-your-customer protocol going to be handled like online gambling in New Jersey and PA, and like other lottery products?
Yes. Our iLottery players must be 18 or older and physically located within our state’s borders. You do not have to be a Pennsylvania resident to play or win, but you can only play or win from within the state. We will use industry standard KYC practices for identity and age verification.
OPR: What will the Return To Player be of instant win games?
Miller: We are still in the process of developing our games, but expect to follow industry best practices in that area.
OPR: Will virtual sports be conduced online as well, or just terminal access?
At launch, virtual sports will only be available through terminals located at retailers. In the future, we may explore taking them online.