In a possible reprise of the online horse racing betting hiatus caused by legislative neglect several years ago (see previous reports) it appears that unless Illinois lawmakers react before March 25, the state’s pioneering online lottery ticket sales venture will have to be suspended.
The Washington Times reports that online sales launched in 2012 have totalled around $68 million, but that the pilot program was limited to March 25 2016 and nothing has been done legislatively to extend the project.
In 2015 an attempt to convert the pilot program into a permanent state lottery venture ran out of time when the legislature adjourned, and last week an attempt to resurrect the issue in the House Finance Committee did not materialise because the meeting was cancelled.
The legislature timetable will only see lawmakers back at the state capitol in April, suggesting that unless something urgent is done, the pilot program will by law have to be suspended until legislators can give it authority to continue.
The state lottery has already faced the embarrassment of a barrage of criticism over a state government budget disagreement last year that saw the lottery reduced to issuing IOUs to big winners (see previous reports).
The Illinois state lottery is not the only entity to suffer online grief from political mismanagement; Our readers may recall the recent failure of a promising Minnesota lottery online venture which became the victim of a conflict between the state governor and his lottery director and lawmakers who perceived that they had not been sufficiently involved in the process.