If the Metropolitan Airports Commission gives the go-ahead, travelers and employees at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be able to purchase Minnesota Lottery tickets as early as next month via 2,500 electronic tablets available in a main-terminal concourse. New York-based OTG Management, which operates food and beverage concessions at the airport, had previously installed the devices allowing travelers to order food and beverages, check flight times and browse the internet. Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said the tablets easily can be adapted to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets plus electronic versions of scratch-off games.
Lottery Director Ed Van Petten said more state lottery tickets are sold at the airport than at any other single site in the state. “I think we’d mostly be reaching customers that otherwise would probably not be shopping at the vending machines or the kiosks,” he said.
The nonprofit Airport Foundation currently operates an airport kiosk that sells lottery tickets and scratch-off games, plus several vending machines throughout the airport that sell scratch-off games. The kiosk and machines net about $200,000 annually said foundation Director Jana Vaughn. She said although the new tablets could compete with the foundation’s gambling operations, “I think it’s worth testing out,” she said. Vaughn added airport workers purchase about half of current lottery sales.
Last year the airport added electronic pull-tab machines at six of its bars, generating $8,000 toward funding the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. As in most sites where these games are offered, “They’re not producing massive sales. It’s not a big moneymaker but it may pick up over time,” Hogan said.