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Florida Lottery could sell tickets online if bill passes

The introduction of the bill follows months of lobbying by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has been pushing for the creation of a casino in Florida.

By
Veronica Linares

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A bill filed last week by Florida state Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Coconut Grove, would allow for Florida Lottery tickets to be sold online, making the Sunshine State the eighth state to adopt online ticket sales.

"[The lottery is] one of the biggest fundraisers we have," Margolis said, according to the Sun-Sentinel and added that the benefits of online ticket sales would far outweigh those of building a resort and casino in South Florida.

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"This way, anybody who wants to buy them can buy them," she said. "Expand that instead of having big problems with major gaming in the community."

The introduction of the bill follows months of lobbying by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has been pushing for the creation of a casino in Florida.

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Those who oppose the bill claim it would create a new problem for gambling addicts. Brian Kongsvik, the helpline director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, said the new system "and the potential to use a line of credit," makes the act lose "that physical pulling money out of pocket [sense.]"

Margolis countered the argument stating gamblers "like to sit at the table. They like the social part of it."

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All seven states that allow online lottery ticket purchase have different payment mechanisms, and the bill introduced by Margolis doesn't state which method would be used in Florida. The one-page proposal -- SB 120 -- simply states:

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"[The Lottery] shell have the authority to create a program that allows a person who is 18 years of age or older to make an online purchase of a Florida lottery ticket. The department may adopt rules to administer the program."

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