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Skubick: Online wagering gives lottery a big boost

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) - Since it began last Thanksgiving, Internet lottery sales have mushroomed along with the number of players using their Smartphones and personal computers to play.

In November 2015, the State Lottery Bureau, without fanfare, moved into the Internet gaming market, making it easier for players to bet from home instead of driving to the nearest lottery store to place a wager.

At the outset there were about 86,000 players who registered with the state for the Internet games.

The number of players has mushroomed over 300% to about 322,000 players.

Local senator Rick Jones originally opposed the expansion of gaming but now he's all in.

The increased Internet betters have pumped $147 million additional dollars into state coffers with $14 million of that going to michigan schools.

And the Lottery Bureau is predicting those numbers will increase over the next eight years to an additional $480 million.

This local lawmaker is not a betting enthusiast but still says the state ought to be regulating this and making the money.

Rep. Andy Schor says ""You know if they're going to do it. We should probably regulate it and we should probably grab some tax dollars off of it. I think that people can gamble if they want to gamble."

Plus, as a supporter of education, he likes money flowing into the schools from the Internet gaming.

Rep. Schor adds, "Bring in some tax dollars for our kids for the for the school aid fund and for the general fund at the same time? I'm not against that."

There are some 30 games available on the Internet including new instant games and others. There are no projections on how many more players will forego the long lines to bet at home.


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