Senate approves online scratch-off ticket ban


The Minnesota Senate dealt a blow to the state lottery's online operations by approving a measure that would ban ticket sales on the Web.

The ban senators approved Friday would affect online scratch-off tickets and sales of the games at gas station pumps.

According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota Lottery director Ed Van Petten has come under fire from lawmakers for starting the online lottery ticket sales without approval from the legislature.

The measure passed as part of a larger gambling bill that cleared the Senate on a vote of 55-2.

"They are making a huge mistake," Van Petten told Star Tribune, on Friday. He believes the lottery was in its legal right to launch online ticket sales.

The state lottery has offered online lottery tickets for years, but it made history in February when it became the first U.S. state lottery to offer an online scratch-off ticket. That month the lottery began offering an online version of its Spicy 7's scratch-off tickets. Some critics have felt the online version mimics slot machine gambling.

"I am not saying the lottery director overstepped his bounds," said Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, to the Star Tribune. "But it is a reasonable request to ask the lottery to slow down."

A similar measure is moving forward in the House. The House Commerce Committee approved the ban on Thursday.

"We're going to now have gambling in every smart phone. Every iPhone. Every school, every library every Starbucks across the state," Jake Grassel of the group Citizens Against Gambling Expansion told WCCO.

Gov. Mark Dayton has expressed concerns that legislators may be micromanaging the Lottery's operations, but he has not said one way or another where he is on the issue.

The Associated Press reports Van Petten met with Dayton privately on Wednesday, but the lottery leader wouldn't discuss details of their conversation.

Van Petten estimates stopping the sales would cost the state around $2.5 million. He adds that some subscriptions for the games were sold on an annual basis, so he wasn't sure if they could be stopped immediately if the bill became law.

Next Up

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 as of Tuesday.