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Michigan state lottery success showcases online potential

Just ten months out of the gate, Michigan State Lottery online operations have delivered some impressive results despite a lack of serious marketing effort, officials reported this week.

Jeff Holyfield, PR director for the lottery, modestly described the results as “promising”, revealing that a loyalty program has since been rolled out, and there has been additional investment in advertising the online facilities.

Latest statistics show that 133,000 online player accounts have been opened, and that over 300,000 instant tickets are being sold on a daily basis for the online games, bringing in around $500,000 a day.

In addition, the online venture has created an additional 30 jobs in the state, and – importantly – the new channel does not appear to be cannibalising or competing with traditional sales channels.

“There is no indication that the online games are affecting sales at our 11,000 retailers,” Holyfield told the publication OPR. “In fact, we continue to see sales growing in all channels.”

He attributed this to the lottery's success in weaning Michigan residents away from unlicensed offshore internet gambling sites that have made no contribution to Michigan taxes.

Michigan lottery officials are now estimating around $480 million in revenues from online activity over the next eight years. At present iLottery operations deliver less than 10 percent of total Lottery sales in Michigan.

Eighteen games are offered, 17 of them instant scratch-off ticket offerings and the remaining one Keno.

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