New Lottery Payment Options Helping To Move Product Into 21st Century

Written By J.R. Duren on April 19, 2018
Samsung pPayhone with Google

Drew Svitko seems like he has a heart for the state’s older citizens who benefit from lottery proceeds.

The Pennsylvania Lottery executive director announced via a press release this past week that the lottery has added debit card and mobile payment options to the state’s touch-screen, self-serve vending machines.

“Just like any business, the Pennsylvania Lottery wants to make it easy for customers to make purchases in a way they find convenient,” Svitko said. “The older Pennsylvanians who benefit from Lottery sales are counting on us to modernize and stay competitive in an evolving retail environment.”

Google Pay, Apply pay among new payments options

The new payment options include PIN-based debit card transactions, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, all of which will make it easier for customers to pay for their lottery games.

According to the press release, the new payment methods are active at more than 400 lottery terminals and 2,100 sales counters across the state.

Google Pay and Apple Pay allow users to link to debit cards, bank accounts, and credit cards. Currently, businesses who sell lottery games are allowed to accept credit card payments if they’d like.

The press release did not indicate if businesses that don’t accept credit would accept mobile payments linked to credit cards.

In addition to mobile and debit payments, lottery enthusiasts can also use NFC “tap and pay” technology too.

Svitko referenced unnamed research that said many people carry less than $20 in their wallet.

Even though players have more options to pay — including credit — Svitko urged people to play responsibly and within their means.

Where the money goes when gambled

According to the PA Lottery, every dollar that’s spent on lottery games is split four ways:

  • Winning tickets
  • State programs
  • Retailer and vendor commissions
  • Operating costs

Winning tickets account for $0.60 of every dollar, while state programs receive $0.26.

Those state programs include:

  • Rebates for property tax and rent
  • Reduced-rate and free transportation services
  • PACE and PACENET reduced-cost prescription programs
  • Care programs
  • More than 50 local-area Agencies on Aging

The PA Lottery says that, since the lottery launched in 1972, they’ve donated more than$27 billion to these programs.

Payment expansion is latest move toward modernization

As the PA Lottery moves closer to the implementation of online lottery games that can be purchased and played through terminals in businesses across the state, the new announcement about multiple payment methods is another indication that the lottery is serious about making their products accessible and modern.

What is not known is how people will be able to pay for those iLottery terminals. The organization has yet to release details about the exact type of payments that can be used.

Instant win, Keno, and virtual sports are at least three types of lottery games that may be available in the future for online purchase.

Early timelines indicated that virtual sports would launch in June while the other games would be available in May. However, the PA Lottery has indicated that exactly how those game would be available is not set in stone.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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