Published: February 2, 2018

Rhode Island lawmaker proposes online lottery ticket sales

A state lawmaker says she wants the Rhode Island Lottery Commission to offer online scratch and lottery tickets.

Rep. Charlene Lima, a Democrat who represents Cranston and Providence, said Wednesday that she is submitting the legislation as a way to tackle the state's deficit.

Lima said she thinks an online option for lottery sales would be marketable toward Millennials and that it would aid in the state's effort to reduce unfunded pension liability.

The bill would not replace the in-store scratch option, but open a larger door so that maybe for those who just don't want to get off the couch for the day could still try their luck.

But not everyone is sold on the idea. One man who spoke to NBC 10 News said it's a gateway to bigger problems.

"When you put things online, there is absolutely no control and there's no one to protect our children. And we know that scratch sales are addictive. So, I think it's a totally bad idea and the legislation should be canceled," said Matthew Roana.

New Hampshire recently passed a similar law and estimated it could bring in an additional $13 million for the state. Lima said online scratch ticket sales could generate $20 million to $25 million for Rhode Island.
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