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CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- The Maryland State Lottery plans to boosts its sales by as much as $2.5 million by offering online ticket sales, according to a WBOC report.
Before consumers can buy tickets for the state's lottery games and drawings from the comfort of their homes, though, the organization has to set up an online ticket system, which is estimated to cost $500,000. Those in charge of the plan believe the long-term results will be worth the expense.
"We believe consumers will be much more likely to play," state lottery officials said in a statement.
Maryland isn't the first state to consider such a move. An Illinois pilot program that would allow online ticket sales received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice late last year, drawing criticism from anti-gambling activists and convenience store owners who anticipate decreased foot traffic and revenue if the program moves forward. NACS recently urged the DOJ to rescind its approval based on existing law and likely harm to c-stores and state scholarship funds.
Retailers in Maryland are already voicing similar objections. "Every time we turn around, the state of Maryland or the government is taxing us for something," said Paul Baiers, owner of Paul's Subs in Cambridge. "They provide us with something that we can make money [on], and now it seems like they might want to take it away from us. And that's going to hurt."