NACS Urging Retailers to Oppose Online Lottery Sales

Convenience store group supporting legislation in both houses of Congress

National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS)  (CSP Daily News / Lottery)

WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) will back a major public affairs campaign aimed at encouraging Congress and association members to support a proposed online lottery and gaming ban, reported Politico.

The convenience store industry is most worried about the possibility of lottery tickets being sold across state lines over the Internet, the report said.

For more than 50 years, federal law prohibited gambling over phone lines and, later, on the Internet; however, in 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the law would be completely re-interpreted to only prohibit sports betting. This revision opened the floodgates for all forms of Internet gambling, the group said, including the sale of lottery tickets online.

Since then, NACS has supported legislation that would restore the original interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961. The Restoration of America's Wire Act (S. 2159 in the Senate and H.R. 4301 in the House of Representatives) seeks to prohibit Internet gambling and the sale of lottery products online.

"As a member of the convenience store industry, I'm most concerned with the impact that the DOJ decision has had on the sale of lottery products," Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president of government relations, told the online political news source. "Lottery tickets should not be sold interstate on the Internet. Those sales risk letting kids buy them, letting people gamble in states that don't want gambling, and pulling money and sales out of some states into others. … If Congress does not act to pass this legislation, states will open the floodgates to Internet gambling and it will become difficult or impossible to turn it back."

NACS is asking its retailers to urge members of Congress to support the Internet lottery bills (see links above).