Is it legal to host as a lotto manger and buy lottery tickets on behalf of the participants?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2013

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Is it legal to host as a lotto manger and buy lottery tickets on behalf of the participants?

I wanted to open a website, where you can pool with other people and buy power ball tickets (to begin with). My concept is that anyone can come to the website and create a private group or shared group(pool of people) and buy one powerball ticket by swiping the credit card. The website will host as the pool manager and will buy the tickets before the draw and will send the information to the participants. Initially the service may be free but eventually it may change. Is there any prohibitions for such a website by lottery department?

Asked on October 15, 2013 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


Brook Miscoski / Hurr Law Office PC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I believe that you should seriously reconsider your plan.

Under 18 U.S.C. 1301 and related provisions (federal law), I believe that your plan would be illegal because it involves the sale of lottery tickets in interstate commerce.

Because pretty much anyone can use a website, you would have no reliable way of preventing sales across state lines or limiting sales to only include states that have an agreement with each other concerning lotteries.

There might be ways that you could restrict sales, but you should seriously reconsider your plan because of the likelihood that you will violate a federal criminal statute that provides for monetary penalties and incarceration.

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