Capitalizing on a recent change in federal law, legislation has been filed to allow the Florida Lottery to sell tickets online.
The bill, SB 270 by Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami Beach), is aimed at broadening the Lottery's revenue base to include out-of-state customers and occasional players who might be enticed to play more frequently if online tickets were an option. Last year, the Lottery posted a record $5.5 billion in sales.
Three states - Georgia, Illinois and Minnesota - have already taken advantage of the federal government's 2011 opinion that online lotteries don't constitute illegal gambling and are selling tickets through their lotteries' websites.
The concept, however, is attracting criticism from social conservatives, who warn that expanding the Lottery is tantamount to expanding gambling, which they argue can have a corrosive effect on families. Even some regular players are skeptical of the legislation.
"I don't trust anybody where I'm asked, I gotta put a debit card or something like that, with my information in there. I just don't," said Lottery player Kimberly Wilson.