- Rep. Will Robinson introduces bill to cancel all online lottery tickets
- Mr. Robinson cites security concerns
- Florida is likely to accept the bill
Florida has a no-go policy on casinos and gambling in general. Advertised as a family holiday destination, this is not surprising. Now, State Rep. Will Robinson wants to make sure that lottery tickets can only be sold at retail shops as opposed to online websites.
The Wire Act, Florida and the Lotteries
Florida is indeed a little gung-ho when it comes to its gaming laws, and the current legislative development originating in the Department of Justice (DOJ) isn’t going to make the climate any milder.
While New Jersey and Pennsylvania are contesting the DOJ and the ham-fisted approach to the online gambling industry in the United States, Florida seems a little more accommodating.
State Rep. Will Robinson wants to make sure that no ticket is ever sold online and his newly introduced House Bill 629 might just hit the mark. Mr. Robinson is a man with a plan, and he intends to uproot the “illegal sort of fraudulent online vendors that sell tickets” – more or less:
These fraudulent websites are, in my view, illegally advertising when they are not related to the lottery system at all.
Mr. Robinson is not wasting any time either. His bill will appear before the Gaming Control Subcommittee on Wednesday.
Why Is Florida Against Online Lottery Ticket Sales?
The argument is not without merit. In 2018, Aura Dominguez Canto from Panama bought a ticket from TheLotter.com, an Israeli-based online ticket website.
TheLotter.com had bought the ticket from a local retailer, and then re-sold it to Ms. Canto who eventually won the $30 million pot.
Despite an initial opposition to pay out the winnings, Ms. Canto’s jackpot was honored. Though this alone cannot be the basis for calling websites illegal, it certainly goes to indicate that online vendors can lead to some confusion.
In light of this, Mr. Robinson has set out to ensure that online tickets would no longer be valid, should his Bill manage to clear the upcoming legal hurdles.
New Hampshire Is Not Quite Happy
Florida has its reasons to not like online gambling, not least of all because the state is cosy with the tribal operators which have contributed billions to the economy.
Meanwhile, New Hampshire is preparing to take things to court, challenging the DOJ’s newly-revised Opinion on the Wire Act.
Back in Florida, Mr. Robinson remains adamant against the sale of lottery tickets online. Since the state doesn’t offer the activity officially, all websites that extend lottery tickets are in fact illegal. As the senator himself noted, Florida is nowhere near switching to online sales.
He also further noted the risk that carrying out transactions over the Internet posed with many such vendors using the lottery’s logo to lure in financial details from customers.