Lottery claims early win in online gambling

The Minnesota Lottery says its online instant gambling program is a success, at least in the initial weeks after its launch.

"We compared the five weeks prior to launch and the five weeks after the launch, and the average weekly sales per retailer has gone up by $393 dollars per week," said director Ed Van Petten.

The Lottery started offering instant scratch-off tickets on its website on Feb. 6 and is now selling as much as $3,500 a day in instant games, he added. In addition, the lottery has expanded its offerings, and retail sales are also rising.

"We only went with one game for about the first ten days, just to make sure everything was working properly, which it is," he said. "Now we're up to eight games available, and we still are just posting a notice on our website. No real advertising but it seems to be going well."

Still, that's a very small percentage of the sales of scratch-games, which sell about million dollars worth of tickets a day. It's also the subject of Legislative action. A bill in the Senate would ban online lottery tickets and passed through the State and Local Government committee yesterday.

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