Throughout US history, lotteries have been a staple of gambling. In fact, they’re the oldest form of legal gambling in the US. They have been around since the early 1700s. During that time, newspaper ads in colonial times showed that there were hundreds of lotteries in the US.
Today, there are forty-four states that run lotteries. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico operate state-wide lotteries. When 2021 rolls around, the US will have forty-five states running lotteries.
Several Northeastern states are currently working on legalizing online lotteries. These states include Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Each of these states has its own set of laws. Each state’s position on this arena will depend on the outcome of federal legislation.
The legality of offshore lottery providers is unclear. Some states have ruled out such services because of a legal interpretation of the Wire Act, which outlawed electronic gambling transactions.
The US online lottery system has evolved as technology has advanced. Games like Powerball and Mega Millions are available almost everywhere. In addition, some states offer subscription services.
The first state to offer online lottery sales was Illinois. This was followed by Georgia and Kentucky. The Kentucky lottery launched online play in 2016. The New Jersey Lottery began online lottery ticket sales in late 2015. The Michigan lottery launched online games in 2014.
The Rhode Island Lottery is currently in the middle of a pilot project. It calls its instant win games e-Instants. These games can be played from desktop or mobile devices.