Wednesday January 16, 2013 : AMERICANS POLLED ON INTERNET LOTTERY POSSIBILITIES
 
Retail Industry Leaders Association poll delivers a negative reaction
 
US convenience store owners have long expressed fears that the advent of online lottery ticket selling could adversely impact their profits as physical retail ticket purveyors, and trade body the Retail Industry Leaders Association has accordingly sponsored a survey of American attitudes to internet lottery sales.
 
The Association targeted registered and proven voters in the 43 US states and the District of Columbia that have lotteries, posing questions regarding the use of credit cards, direct electronic transfers from bank accounts or debit/ATM cards to buy online lottery tickets.
 
According to the results, 78 percent of respondents thought online lottery sales are a bad idea. These respondents cited concerns over underage children being able to gamble, racking up credit card debt and draining the family bank, with many saying they are less likely to support lawmakers who advocate Internet lottery activity.
 
"As State Legislatures take up this issue, they should know that voters are overwhelmingly opposed to Internet lottery, and overwhelmingly are less likely to support lawmakers who advocate for it," Brian Dodge, senior vice president for communications and state affairs for RILA, warned in a press release this week.
 
Dodge noted that the study showed that 92 percent of respondents said they believe personal, financial debt is a problem for Americans, and allowing online lottery ticket sales would aggravate the situation.
 
Convenience store owners are playing on the hypothetical possibility of underage family members getting hold of their parents' credit card and maxing it out on internet lottery sales, a rather tenuous argument given the prevalence of internet commerce in all sectors of business and the absence of evidence that this is a major threat.
 
Other results from the RILA survey included:
 
* 82 percent of respondents think there is ample lottery access without Internet expansion;
* 84 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support lawmakers who advocate for the Internet lottery, citing underage and problem gambling concerns.
* 79 percent of respondents believed that the Internet lottery will increase the number of compulsive gamblers.
* 80 percent of respondents opposed allowing people to use their credit cards to play the lottery online
* 70 percent of respondents doubted that requiring lottery players to provide their Social Security number and birth date prior to playing the Internet lottery would be effective.
 
Regrettably, the Association’s rather biased press release fails to provide details on who conducted the survey, the number of respondents, the methodology and the margin for error.