Online lotto sales? Iowa Lottery is looking into it - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Online lotto sales? Iowa Lottery is looking into it

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Wally McCoy regularly heads to to the counter, hoping for some help from Lady Luck as he buys his lottery tickets.

"I like it," said McCoy, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "I don't win, but I like it."

Most of the customers at the lottery counter are over the age of 30.

Younger people, well, they like to do things online and on their phones.

That's why the Iowa Lottery is researching the safeguards that would be needed in order to allow online lotto sales here.

Those safety measures already exist. Illinois, for example, has been doing online lotto sales for almost two and a half years -- and now there's even an app.

The Johnson Avenue Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids was the state's top retailer for lotto sales last year. Stores get commission for sales and a bonus if they sell a winner.

"We do have a little bit of an older clientele in this neighborhood, but as technology and the use of tablets and iPhones and stuff like that advance, I imagine it will take a stronger hold in our customer base," said Mike Russell, manager of general merchandise.

A spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery says studies show areas with online gaming actually do more in sales overall, including at traditional stores. Still, they aren't actively pursuing adding online sales here, believing most Iowa customers are content with heading to a shop when they're looking to win big.

"There's always the chance,"  said McCoy.

An Iowa Lottery spokesperson says there's no timeline on when online sales could happen in Iowa. It would be up to the legislature to decide its something worth pursuing.
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