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NY Gaming Commission approves 'Instacart for the Lottery"

Jan 28, 2021 6:00 am

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union an app has now been developed that allows Lottery customers to buy a scratch-off ticket and have it delivered. The state Gaming Commission January 26, approved a plan allowing the Manhattan-based app developer Jackpocket to buy scratch-off tickets for customers. The company offered its first fully licensed version of the service several weeks ago allowing people to purchase other games such as Mega Millions. Jackpocket's founder and CEO Pete Sullivan said the business has, since going live, grown five-fold, which he attributes in part to the recent large jackpots in games like Mega Millions and Powerball and in part to the pandemic. “Think of us as like Uber Eats or Instacart for the Lottery,” Sullivan said. The company uses a deposit system that allows players to put money into an account they use to play with. Jackpocket makes its money from the 9 percent fee levied on the deposits. The non-scratch-off tickets that are purchased are held by the company. They buy the ticket, and then scan it and send a photo to the buyer, holding on to it until the winners are announced. The scratch-off version, which has not started yet, will involve a subscription system in which players can buy bundles of tickets, such as 50 at a time. Jackpocket is so far the only company of its kind to be licensed in New York. Convenience store operators opposed the Gaming Commission's decision, citing what they say are problems with verifying a player’s age. They also note that retailers receive a 6 percent commission rather than Jackpocket's 9 percent on deposits. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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