Poll Shows Americans Against Credit, Debit Card Online Lottery
Believe it will lead to underage children gambling illegally, says RILA
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Americans are overwhelmingly against allowing the use of credit cards, direct electronic transfers from bank accounts or debit/ATM cards to buy online lottery tickets, according to a national poll sponsored by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
A total of 78% of respondents said they were opposed to Internet lottery in a national survey of registered voters in the 43 states and the District of Columbia that have a lottery. The survey indicates American voters believe that Internet lottery will make it easier for underage children to gamble, drain their family's bank account and rack up credit-card debt on their parents' card, which made them less likely to support lawmakers who advocate for Internet lottery.
"American voters believe that allowing people to use their credit cards, direct electronic transfers from their bank account or debit/ATM cards to buy online lottery tickets is a bad idea. The research shows that while most people think the lottery is a good thing, allowing the purchase of tickets in this manner will make it too easy for people to gamble away money they need for necessities like food and medicine, and too easy for underage children to play the lottery. 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," said Brian Dodge, senior vice president for communications and state affairs for RILA. "There are just too many negatives."
Poll results show:
- 82% of respondents think there is enough access to lottery without expanding it to the Internet.
- Voters worry that Internet lottery will make it easier for underage children to play the lottery; in fact 84% of respondents said they would be less likely to support Internet lottery and the lawmakers who advocate for it because of that fact.
- Voters also fear that Internet lottery will increase the number of compulsive gamblers, and 79% said they would be less likely to support Internet lottery and the lawmakers who advocate for it because of that fact.
- 80% of respondents oppose allowing people to use their credit cards to play the lottery online.
- *70% doubt that requiring lottery players to provide their Social Security number and birth date when registering to play Internet lottery will successfully prevent underage children from accessing the lottery online.
"Can you imagine what happens when a child gets a hold of a parent's ATM card and decides to play the lottery online? They could unintentionally empty a bank account in a very short amount of time. The best way to protect our kids is to keep lottery sales at brick and mortar retailers so we can properly ID lottery players. That's our job and we're proud to do it," said Dennis Lane, a 7-Eleven franchise owner with a store in Massachusetts.
The issue of Internet lottery is a relatively new topic for many Americans as selling tickets online to local residents was only made legally possible in December 2011. Illinois and Georgia started selling lottery tickets online last year and Delaware has recently authorized its state lottery to offer online gaming. Several state lottery commissions including those in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey are considering expanding their lottery systems to allow people to use credit cards, direct electronic transfers from bank accounts or debit/ATM cards to buy Internet lottery tickets as they look for a solution to balance their budgets. But according to the survey, many believe that the social costs of using Internet lottery to balance the budget would far outweigh the benefits.
"With 92% of respondents saying they believe personal, financial debt is a problem for Americans, allowing people to use their credit cards, direct electronic transfers from their bank accounts or debit/ATM cards to buy online lottery tickets just isn't smart," said Dodge.
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.