Don’t Expect The PA Online Lottery To Look At All Like A Casino

Written By Jessica Welman on March 30, 2018 - Last Updated on August 8, 2022
Man holding palm with chip in hand

Pennsylvania Lottery fans still do not know exactly what titles will be available when the online lottery launches. However, thanks to some newly released iLottery regulations, we have some more clarity on what you should not expect to play online any time soon.

Most of the regulatory elements are expected. The PA Lottery will use similar identity verification and geolocation measures as the New Jersey regulated market. The regulations also make it abundantly clear that none of the products will bear any resemblance to any casino games.

Be aware these are just temporary regulations for the moment. However, it does give an indication of how the online lottery will function.

Temp regulations want to establish regulation, self-exclusion protocols

The drafted regulations went live on the state-run PA Bulletin website on Friday. The self-stated goal of the document is as follows:

This temporary rulemaking defines the relevant terms associated with iLottery implementation in this Commonwealth, sets forth iLottery registration and participation requirements, and iLottery self-exclusion requirements.

Most of these registration requirements are expected and straightforward. Here is the list of what a person needs to provide in order to open a PA online lottery account:

  • Name as it appears on a valid government-issued identification or on tax documents
  • Date of birth
  • Entire or last four digits of the individual’s Social Security number, or equivalent for a foreign person such as a passport or taxpayer identification number
  • Home address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Any other information as determined by the Secretary to be necessary to verify the age and identity of the individual

Additionally, the regulations lay out the requirements for geolocation technology. This will ensure no PA Lottery play takes place online and outside of the state lines.

Don’t expect even the whiff of casino games

The regulations went into minor detail about online scratch-off games, which will likely be the key feature of the online lottery site. There was no mention of Powerball, the Mega Millions, and other draw games. The plans currently seem to be to keep this games in brick and mortar retail stores for the time being.

One thing the regulations did spell out very clearly is what online lotto games will not look like–casino games.

Here is what the regulations specifically say on the subject:

“The term [iLottery] does not include games that represent physical, Internet-based or monitor-based interactive lottery games which simulate casino-style lottery games, specifically including poker, roulette, slot machines and blackjack.”

You might be wondering why the PA Lottery needs to be clear it does not intend to operate slot machines, but given technology, there are several gaming products that may look like slot machines, but are technically not.

For example, many horse racing tracks like Churchill Downs, recent buyer of Presque Isle Downs, have historical racing slot machines, which look like a slot game, but are actually run using old racing data.

With fears of cannibalization always circling, the PA Lottery wants to be abundantly clear it has no desire to create any product that compares to something being offered in both brick and mortar and online PA casinos.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for

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