Pennsylvania has officially launched the online lottery component of its expanded gambling initiative. The Keystone States joins a handful of others, including Michigan and Georgia, to offer a full suite of instant win products.
The launch comes on the heels of Pennsylvania going live with Keno games at 9,400 retail outlets earlier this month.
Pennsylvania iLottery: The details
Getting up and running on the Pennsylvania iLottery site is a relatively simplistic process, but there are a few caveats worth noting.
New players are required to submit a simple registration form where they’ll be tasked with entering the following details:
- email address
- full name
- date of birth
- full address
- answers to two security questions
- optional bonus code
Players must also provide the last four digits of their social security number. This measure allows regulators to verify and protect player identities.
Current VIP Club members can use their existing login to access the iLottery site, although they still may be tasked with updating their details.
Players must be 18 years old or older and located in the state of Pennsylvania to play real-money iLottery games. An age check will be performed during the verification process.
Note, that players do not have to be residents of the state to enjoy the iLotto.
$10 free bonus
Upon successful registration players will note that $10 has been placed into their account. The bonus carries a generous 1x playthrough on any of the site’s games, after which point the player is free to cash it out. It expires after 60 days.
Software and devices
PA iLottery games can be played on a multitude of devices, including:
- Android powered devices (both mobile and tablets)
The browser and mobile based platforms are provided by SG Digital (a combination of NYX and SGI). SG also powers Resorts online casino and Mohegan Sun online casino in the regulated New Jersey market. Players familiar with those sites will notice clear similarities, right down to the branding of select titles.
The Pennsylvania iLottery is clearly not showing all of its hand just yet, only launching with 11 instant win games:
- Foxin’ Wins Reveal
- Super CashBuster
- Big Money Slingo
- Big Foot Reveal
- Crossword Cash
- Cash in the Lamp
- Super Gems
- Robin Hood Reveal
- Volcano Reveal
- Monster Wins Reveal
- CashBuster Towers
This selection pales in comparison to what is offered by the online lotto in Michigan, which supports over 50 instant win games, as well as popular draw games like PowerBall and Mega Millions. However, that market too started off with a rather paltry selection of games, so we expect the PA iLotto library to grow significantly in the coming months.
At their core, instant win games are effectively digital versions of scratch off games popular in retail outlets. However, instant wins raise the bar by offering bonus rounds, and a wealth of user customization features, similar to those found on online slot terminals.
The minimum real-money bet on select instant win games starts at just $0.01 per round.
The PA iLotto is launching with a handful of depositing and withdrawal options:
- ACH e-Check (VIP Preferred)
- MasterCard debit
- Visa debit
- PayNearMe cash (deposit only)
This list is bound to grow as the iLotto matures
Players looking to control their spending or time out completely will have a host of responsible gaming tools at their disposal.
They’ll be able to set time, deposit, and/or spend limits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In addition, they can cool off for a period ranging from 3 – 30 days, during which time they will not be allowed to access the site.
Players looking to self-exclude will have that option. They can self-exclude for a period of one or five years.
Finally, those looking to keep tabs on their spend will be able to access an account statement from the client software.
There are three support channels available at present:
- Live chat
- Phone (toll free)
One boon today, another tomorrow
Pending regular expansion of its product, the PA iLotto stands to be a boon for the state. Michigan generated $77.9 million from the vertical in 2017, and that state has both a smaller population (9.96 million vs. 12.81 million for Pennsylvania) and limits play to residents of the state.
But the real Golden Goose may be sports betting. Pennsylvania had already legalized sports betting as part of its expanded gaming bill, penned into law last October, but it was forced to wait until the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports wagering to get moving.
Now that the Court has issued a favorable ruling, PA regulators are looking to get going in a hurry, with temporary regulations for sports betting making the agenda for a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting on May 30.
According to Gambling Compliance, Pennsylvania is expected to generate $381.3 million from online and land-based sports wagering combined, but high tax rates and licensing fees may hamstring the industry.