New Jersey residents have been following legislative sessions keenly hoping that their lawmakers will expand the state’s gaming industry. The legislators proposed a constitutional amendment several months ago to allow online lottery sales.
The move pleased lottery players as the new legislation would help them purchase tickets at home on their phones and the New Jersey Lottery would make more sales. Nevertheless, it wouldn't favor gas stations and convenience stores that largely depend on in-person lottery sales. This has prompted Senator Joseph Cryan to draft legislation that seeks to block the sale of online lottery in New Jersey.
What Does S4150 Entail?
Cryan’s S4150 bill is brief as it constitutes one page of its official language and the background. It states that a rule proposal was made on September 19, 2022, to permit the Division of State Lottery to make direct ticket sales to New Jersey players through its mobile apps and website.
The rule has been accepted and the State Lottery Commission’s online sales are set to start in the next fall. Even so, the senator’s proposed legislation bans the State Lottery Commission and all of its entities or any entity that it contracts from making direct online lottery ticket sales.
How Would The Sales Ban Affect Small Business Operators?
S4150 has an exception allowing licensed courier services to make online lottery ticket sales. It defends convenience stores and gas stations that sell lottery tickets.
The New Jersey Lottery states that every retailer keeps five percent of each ticket sale. Still, they earn cash commissions for between 1.25 percent to 2.5 percent on up to $30,000 winnings. The retailers can get more cash commissions on the following games;
- A $2,000 bonus for 5 out of 5 on Mega Millions without Megaplier
- A $10,000 bonus for 5 out of 5 right in Powerball, Mega Millions with Megaplier and Cash4Life
- A $30,000 bonus for 5 out of 5 numbers right on Powerball jackpot tickets sold, Mega Millions and Cash4Life
The legalization of online lottery ticket sales is likely to reduce the revenue that many businesses generate. Reports indicate that some players often make extra purchases when they visit such enterprises to buy lottery tickets.
The New Jersey Gasoline-Convenienve-Automotive Association represents ventures that online lottery sales will affect directly. It claims that the sales will increase the New Jersey Lottery ticket sales but adversely affect businesses that sell the tickets in person.
The fate of Cryan’s legislation is uncertain now. Certain Senate committees have to support it before the legislators vote on it.
Then, the bill will be discussed at the House and has to pass a ballot before Governor Phil Murphy signs it. However, lottery enthusiasts can continue buying tickets through licensed lottery retailers and third-party sites like Jackpocket.com.