Online lottery sales banned as new law takes effect

Bill received unanimous support in Senate, strong bipartisan backing in House


A law that temporarily prohibits lottery tickets from being sold online took effect earlier this month.
The law was a response to a 2011 decision by the U.S. Department of Justice that opened the door for states to allow lottery ticket sales over the Internet.
But Many Democrat and Republican lawmakers this year were concerned that online sales would hurt small businesses, particularly convenience stores that rely on lottery ticket sales.
Lawmakers were also worried that online sales would make it easier for minors to gamble and that online lottery ticket sales would be akin to the expansion of gaming in the state.
The law puts a three-year hold on online lottery ticket sales, to allow for more study on its impact.
“Allowing lottery tickets to be sold on the Internet had the potential to undermine the strong and successful partnership between local businesses and the state of Colorado,” State Sen. Jeanne Nicholson, D-Gilpin County, said through an emailed statement.
“In addition to helping keep lottery tickets out of the hands of minors, this law protects entrepreneurs and helps strengthen Colorado's economic recovery by encouraging customers to shop at local grocery and convenience stores.”
Nicholson sponsored the bill in the Senate with Canon City Republican Sen. Kevin Grantham, where it received unanimous support.
The bill also received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, where Republicans unanimously backed and 23 Democrats voted in favor of it as well.
Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, one of 14 Democrats to vote against the bill, argued during a Feb. 24 House floor debate that denying lottery ticket sales online takes away potential revenue from the state and that it's near-sighted to contain modern market forces.
“This is, in a very simple way, a protectionist measure to simply stop the market forces, stop technology from emerging and simply keep the status quo in place,” he said.
The law took effect Aug. 6.


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