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Michigan’s online lottery went online on August 11, 2014.
Michigan jumped into online lottery without a law being passed by the legislature. The state was able to authorize online lottery sales without legislative approval due to the broad authority given to the Michigan Lottery to approve new games.
The state’s path to online lottery was anything but a smooth ride.
In February 2013, the Michigan Lottery announced it would begin selling lottery tickets online in the not too distant future. The original plan was to offer online subscriptions by the spring, where customers could purchase multiple tickets for draw games. This would be followed by a broader rollout of single ticket sales, instant win games, and even Keno by the end of 2013.
The plans were put on hold when opposition in the legislature tried to pass legislation prohibiting online lottery sales. When the effort failed, the Michigan Lottery resumed its plans, and online lottery games were introduced in the summer of 2014.
The Michigan online lottery site offers the following products:
The online lottery games in Michigan are run by the Michigan Lottery, and are subject to the same regulations and oversight as the state’s traditional lottery games.
As it says on the Michigan Lottery’s website, “Signing up to play Michigan Lottery online is safe, secure, and easy!”
To register an online Michigan Lottery account you must be a US resident, a resident of Michigan and 18 years or older to play.
After a player verification process, you’ll be able to deposit money into your online account and can start purchasing online tickets.
You can deposit money into your online account using:
Online lottery sales have been a boon for Michigan, and perhaps surprisingly, to existing brick-and-mortar lottery retailers.
Less than a year into the experiment, the results were eye-opening. Over the first 10 months, 133,000 online lottery accounts had been created, and over 300,000 instant tickets were being purchased online every single day.
By mid-2015, sales had grown to over $1 million per day, according to a report by Digital Gaming Group.
As noted above, brick-and-mortar retailers have seen sales rise since online lottery was introduced in Michigan. Lottery retailers have vehemently opposed online lottery, fearing cannibalization. But the results in Michigan are pretty conclusive, and should put to rest the cannibalization fears.
“There is no indication that the online games are affecting sales at our 11,000 retailers,” Jeff Holyfield, the Director of Public Relations for the Michigan Lottery, told Online Poker Report back in 2015. “In fact, we continue to see sales growing in all channels.”
Digital Gaming Group’s report added some numbers to Holyfield’s assertions. “… online instants accounted for two-thirds of iLottery sales, or roughly $98 million, while online keno contributed $49 million,” the report states. Over the same time period, “… retail instants and retail keno reached all-time records and grew by more than $100 million and $30 million respectively.”
The DGG report concludes:
“It is clear that retail channels have not been negatively affected since the launch of online sales. In fact, a better argument can be made in support of iLottery increasing overall player engagement and driving cross-channel sales.”