Maryland Lottery Commission Director Plans To Go Online By 2013
The Maryland Lottery Commission Director told officials of the Maryland State House Ways and Means Committee that he intends to bring the entire Maryland Lottery system online during 2013, including all scratch cards and lottery offerings presently available at local stores inside Maryland's borders. His goal is to have at least six months of online lottery sales by the end of the year, meaning an intended online launch sometime around June of 2013. Governor Martin O’Malley has already budgeted more than $2 million dollars as part of state spending plans which would come from the sale of lottery tickets online. That means any delay would leave the government short on funds and makes the possibility of a change in policy very unlikely.
At the heart of this decision is a recent legal opinion notice published by the United States Federal Government. The Justice Department had previously held that all forms of online gambling were officially illegal as per the Wire Act of 1961. However, recent battles with online poker sites and an increasingly tight revenue stream have caused the government to seriously rethink its own interpretation of the statute. Now the DOJ says it has a new interpretation of that law that will allow each State to determine which online gaming is legal or illegal - presumably clearing the way for online lotteries run by the States while keeping an additional layer of complexity in place for any privately funded online gaming operations hoping to offer games to players in the USA.
It's definitely a legal story worth watching, so stay tuned to Lotto 365 for all the details as this story develops.