Indiana lawmakers are seeking to stop the Hoosier Lottery from launching online games or selling tickets without their permission. State lottery officials have been discussing since 2019 the possibility of joining other states in selling lottery tickets and offering other games online.
Indiana’s Senate tax committee on Tuesday added provisions to a bill that would require legislative approval before the state’s lottery commission can begin online gambling or the sale of tickets.
The move comes after reports that Hoosier Lottery staff met with legislative leaders to brief them on potential contract changes with the company that oversees the lottery’s sales and marketing operations.
House Speaker Todd Huston said The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) it appeared the lottery had the legal authority to go ahead with online gaming under current law without legislative approval.
But Scot Imus, executive director of the Indiana Food and Fuel Association, said the lottery law was written in 1989 before cellphones existed and lawmakers couldn’t have figured out it would be. used to justify a full online lottery.
Imus said convenience stores and other retailers represented by his group now sell around 90% of all lottery tickets and are concerned about the impact of online lottery games on their business.