North Carolina Lottery Considering Expanding Gaming Options

Expansion in on the mind of the North Carolina Education Lottery as they look to offer instant win scratch tickets online. Progress is currently being made to see the online option come to life, helped along with a change in leadership within the Lottery. The Lottery Commission has considered the idea for many years but did not have enough interest among members until now.

Online Gaming

The North Carolina lottery already provides ticket sales online, with games offered including Pick 3, Pick 4 and Cash 5. Tickets are available for the PowerBall as well as Mega Millions and Keno. Gaming remains limited in the state due to the majority of the state legislature being conservative. Most of the officials are against gambling in general. The conservatives have fought to the keep the lottery as-is.

The only additional gaming offered in the state is casinos on tribal lands as well as non-profit groups offering bingo or raffles.

Old Idea Gaining Ground

The proposal to offer digital instant win tickets via the state lottery is not new. The idea was pushed around back in 2017 before it was removed from the agenda. Members of the Lottery Commission felt that further study was needed on the matter in order to gain enough support to see such legislation move forward.

In early December, Tony Rand resigned from the commission as chairman. He was replaced by Courtney Crowder, which has led the way to the proposal coming back to light. While Rand helped to see the lottery established back in 2005, he has maintained restraint when it comes to gaming in the state.

With Crowder, she was a huge influence behind the 2017 push for digital instant win games and is now helping to push the idea once again. He seems to be ready to push the offerings of the lottery to higher levels and expects the new games to bring in $80 million a year. Funds from the lottery are used for education and responsible gambling so this would provide even more to these groups.

Of course, there are those who are opposed to the addition, with fears of addiction and problem gambling at the helm. Conservative lawmakers are worried that having access to such games online will increase the rate of problem gamblers in the state. However, there are measures in place to tackle such issues.

The universal deposit limit will be set at $505 a day, $2,000 for a week and $4,000 for a month. These are the limits proposed by the Commission. However, conservatives feel this amount is more than residents can afford to lose. Players will also have the ability to set lower limits for their gameplay.

Concerns have also arisen that the digital tickets will harm lottery ticket sales within retail outlets. Such retailers like convenience stores worry that overall sales will be affected as players will purchase tickets along with small miscellaneous items.

While this is a common concern, other states like New Jersey, have proven that online gaming appeals to other types of players and in most cases, does not affect retail sales at a high percentage.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.