LANSING (WWJ) – Too busy to go to the corner store to buy your scratch-offs? Don’t worry — you can now play some Michigan Lottery games on the Internet.
The state lottery bureau has quietly launched internet lottery sales through their “iLottery” program, allowing people to play games over the Internet by using their personal computers and mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Injured In Eastpointe Accidental Shooting; Gun Safety Instructor Says Lock Up Your Guns
But not everyone is behind the move, including Republican Senator Rick Jones.
“I don’t support internet gambling. This will lead to more people with depression, more people with social problems and more people will lose their home from their home,” Jones said.
The lottery department declined to discuss how many people are buying tickets on the Internet, and said they don’t plan on releasing any figures until the end of September.READ MORE: Ballot Initiative To Strike Detroit's Adult-Use Ordinance Rejected, Opponents Continue To Fight
How it works: You must be 18-years or older to play. Residents from other states are eligible to play, but online gaming must take place in Michigan. Players create an online account at www.michiganlottery.com. After a quick verification process, players must deposit funds into their account via a credit card, debit card or direct transfer from their bank account. Players can also purchase a $20 online game card from local retailers where gift cards are sold.
Players are limited to $500 a week in deposits. Once a deposit has been verified, players can participate in a number of online games, including bingo, keno and instant games like Cashword and Wind Time Doubler. When a player wins any amount up to $600, the funds are directly added to their online Michigan Lottery account and can be withdrawn at any time. Prizes of $601 to $50,000 are also automatically deposited into a player’s account, but a virtual claim form must be submitted for funds to be withdrawn. Any prize over $50,000 must be claimed from the Michigan Lottery office in Lansing.
Within their online account, players can restrict their deposit limit to a lower amount or exclude themselves entirely from online game play. Officials also promise to safeguard players’ financial information and privacy.
Online sales on the Michigan Lottery website have been available since last August. The state anticipates the move will bring in more revenue for schools and improve the lottery experience.MORE NEWS: 5-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Self In Foot At Eastpointe Home
Michigan could deposit nearly $120 million more to education in the first four years with the iLottery, according to estimates. Profits could grow $360 million in the following four years.