States Cleared for Online Bets

Some state lotteries are likely to take steps toward online gambling after a new opinion by the Justice Department that gives states a green light.

“We’ve built the system and had it on a shelf waiting for more legal certainty,” said Gordon Medenica, the director of the New York lottery, which is planning to start selling lottery tickets on the Internet next year. “We’re pleased for the opportunity this gives us.”

A number of statehouses and lotteries in search of new revenue have recently considered proposals to allow some form of online gambling. Washington, D.C., voted this year to allow its lottery to operate online poker, but the law hasn’t yet been implemented. Five state lotteries already offer modest Internet-based subscriptions for lottery drawings. Both Illinois and New York have drawn up more expansive plans to sell tickets online to their lottery drawings.

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