Lottery Laws and Regulations


Several states have laws which prohibit the sale of lottery tickets to people under a certain age. The law in Vermont, for instance, has a minimum age of 18 to participate in pari-mutuel betting, while the law in Maine prohibits adults from buying lottery tickets as gifts for minors. In Minnesota, the lottery bans the sale of lottery tickets to children under the age of 18. In addition, the state has a complex system for dealing with minors who play the lottery.

The Virginia lottery does not sell tickets to minors. In addition, the state has a ban on raffles, which are conducted by individuals or for-profit organizations. Some state statutes also prohibit the recruiting of children under the age of 18 in print media. In the case of raffles, the police are responsible for prosecuting violations of the law.

The Oregon Lottery licenses slot machines and poker machines at various locations across the state. It also regulates gambling activities, such as bingo, and raffles. Since 2004, the Oregon Lottery has permitted “line games” and “Poker Runs.” The lottery also licensed video slot machines. In 1998, the Oregon Lottery issued licenses for 9,000 video gambling machines. This was a major step forward for the lottery, and drew the attention of federal lawmakers and the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.

The lottery has a complex business model that allows the state to offer video slot terminals in all corners of the state. It also pays cities and counties a two percent share of the state’s revenues. These funds are used to support senior citizen programs and tourism activities. Additionally, these funds are also used to back bonds for economic development initiatives. This type of partnership has proved lucrative for the state, and has paid off for retailers.

In 2001, House Bill 102 capped the administrative allowance of the lottery at four percent. This largely went unenforced, however. In 2004, the lottery voted to license “line games,” a game with jackpots up to $10,000. This has led to some controversy, as opponents have argued that the arrangement gives video slot machines and poker machines easy access to problem gamblers. In addition, the rule that requires retailers to spend at least fifty percent of their revenue on non-lottery items has gone largely unenforced. In 2000, a state audit found that the rule was not being enforcibly enforced.

In Connecticut, for instance, the General Statutes prohibit the sale of sealed tickets to minors. The state also has a statewide smoking ban, which has paired with liability issues. In addition, the state has signed compacts with two Indian tribes.

In addition, the State of Maryland has a statutory minimum age of 18 for participating in pari-mutuel betting, as well as for pari-mutuel wagering at licensed casinos and bingo halls. The lottery also does not permit the purchase of lottery tickets for gifting. Likewise, a state statute restricts the sale of lottery shares to persons under the age of 18.

While the lottery is a form of enterprise, retailers have a vested interest in maintaining the rules. In many cases, the retailer has to establish “safeguards” to prevent the sale of tickets to minors. If the retailer is caught selling tickets to a minor, they are subject to a fine of $200.