The newly launched PA iLottery has been a big success with Pennsylvanians during June, according to a report from the Times Leader. Since launching May 29th, the iLottery has generated $21.6 million in play with $18.7 million of that figure awarded in prizes, representing a profit of $2.9 million.
According to Jeffery A. Johnson, who is Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue communications director, says that over 45,000 players have signed up for the iLottery thus far, which includes games similar to scratch offs but with more interactivity.
“PA iLottery games are a fun, new way to play and win from home or while on the go. iLottery is a big part of our effort to meet our players where they already are, while generating new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians.”
PA casinos balking
While the Pennsylvania online lottery did very well during the month, Pennsylvania’s twelve casinos are not happy with the lottery encroaching on their turf. Pennsylvania’s existing casinos have urged the state to suspend the iLottery program before Pennsylvania casinos begin launching online gambling.
The casinos complain that many of the games currently in the iLottery utilize the same “backbone” of slot machine games with similarities including results determined by a random number generator, slot-machine like graphics and lower bet amounts — traditional lottery games are usually $1 or more to play whereas iLottery games can in some cases played for pennies.
The iLottery has even used to terms such as “slot-style” and “casino-style” in marketing efforts, while allowing 18 year olds to play. In contrast, players must be 21 to play in Pennsylvania casinos, including online casinos when they launch.
In the language of the large PA casino expansion bill that Governor Tom Wolf passed last year, it stats that the lottery can not offer online games that “simulate casino-style games.”
In responding to criticism, casinos won something of a victory last week, when the state agreed to stop marketing the games with objectionable terms. For now, there doesn’t seem to be any intention of halting the iLottery.