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According to its scope, the temporary regulations cover, “iLottery game rules, iLottery registration and participation requirements, and iLottery self-exclusion requirements.”
The temporary regulations will remain in place for up to two years, and as it works on permanent regulations, the department is will consider all written comments, suggestions and objections regarding the temporary regulations submitted over the next 30 days.
By and large, Pennsylvania’s online lottery will follow the online lottery and online gambling models established in other states.
Online lottery players must be 18 years of age and located in the state in order to play.
Registering players will have to submit to age and identity verification and will need to be geolocated within Pennsylvania’s borders when purchasing tickets or playing instant win games.
The information required to establish an iLottery account includes:
The regulations require the Lottery website to disclose the following to consumers:
Several responsible gaming policies are also baked into the temporary regulations, including self-exclusion and the capability for players to set deposit, wagering and time limits.
The regulations stipulated that self-exclusion requests can be made through the player’s account, with customers choosing to self-exclude able to choose from several self-exclusion periods.
One important note on self-exclusion: Players may not withdraw funds from their account during the period of self-exclusion.
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Brick-and-mortar lottery retailers have long been concerned that online lottery will cut into their sales. Even though these fears seem unfounded based on the evidence from Michigan and other online lottery states, the regulations allow the Lottery to address cannibalization should the need arise.
The temporary regulations allow the Lottery to implement retailer incentive programs at the discretion of the revenue department, with the money for the programs coming from the Lottery Fund.
Money in dormant online lottery accounts is forfeit and transferred to the state after three years.
Most prizes will be directly credited to the player’s account, but prizes exceeding a certain, yet-to-be-determined amount will need to be claimed in-person, at an authorized lottery claim center.
According to the regulations, the definition of an online lottery game, “does not include games that represent physical, Internet-based or monitor-based interactive lottery games which simulate casino-style lottery games, specifically including poker, roulette, slot machines and blackjack.”
The regulations aren’t entirely clear, but since Pennsylvania will offer online instant win games (which bear a striking resemblance to online slot machines), it appears online lottery games will not use casino themes or simulate the gameplay of casino games.
Per the temporary regulations:
“Internet instant game—A lottery game of chance in which, by the use of a computer, tablet computer or other mobile device, a player purchases a play, with the result of play being a reveal on the device of numbers, letters or symbols indicating whether a lottery prize has been won according to an established methodology as provided by the Lottery.”