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Online Lottery Sales Set To Begin Sunday

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Illinois Lottery Register (Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

Illinois Lottery Register (Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Starting this Sunday, lottery players will be able to buy tickets online.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Illinois Lottery Supt. Michael Jones tells USA Today that online sales could attract 1 million new players when Mega Millions jackpots $100 million.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Illinois is the first state in the nation to offer individual lottery tickets online, and other states are watching closely.

Of course, there are detractors, and convenience store owners who stand to lose business.

Owners of 7-Eleven franchises warned last month of massive layoffs that could come as a result of online lottery sales.

Joe Rossi, the head of the Chicago franchise owners’ association, estimated in February that lottery sales bring in 30 percent of the business at 7-Elevens, because lottery buyers buy an average of $5 in goods on top of their tickets.

He recommended last month that the state Lottery require players to fill up a Lottery credit card at 7-Elevens – leaving the store owners with their present 5 percent cut of the business – rather than allowing players to gamble without limit on their credit cards on line at home.

The U.S. Department of Justice in December issued a legal opinion on the matter that paved the way for online sales to begin.

Lottery officials estimate the state will take in $150 million more annually once sales go online, and will attract hundreds of thousands of new players.

Officials have promised that the site for online sales will be secure and limited to Illinois adults.

Online sales open at 7 a.m. Sunday, and there is a limit of $100 per day.

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