Michigan Online Gambling Flies Under Radar

In August of 2014, the Michigan lottery made it possible for residents to purchase lottery tickets online, something the majority of people were left in the dark about. The project has seen 87,000 people purchase tickets online, contributing to nearly $26 million being wagered in total.

Last August, Michigan Lottery Commissioner M. Scott Bowen helped roll out a form of online gambling in the state, that up until recently has flown under the radar in the public eye. Most people had no idea one could wager on the lottery in the state, and the numbers revealed have been rather eye opening.

Bowen and his people decided the online-lottery should go with a low-key approach to “make sure the system worked.” Initially, it was reported data would not be released for eight months, but in fact was presented last week.

The Internet lottery has been bringing in roughly $2 million per week over the past couple weeks. It sounds like quite a bit, but accounts for only 1 percent of the total lottery sales. $25.9 million has been wagered with $22.2 million in winnings. Roughly 87,000 people have signed up for accounts online since August.

While some oppose the online gambling, citing addiction, and increased risk for depression and suicide, the lottery has allowed players to set their own weekly betting limits, and the players must wait 48 hours before raising their default limit. The state estimates it will raise $480 million over eight years benefiting the School Aid Fund.