Jan 12, 2023 - Business

Texas lotto goes digital

The homepage of a newly-online Texas lottery site

The Jackpot.com homepage earlier this week. Screenshot: Jackpot.com

Texans can now gamble on the lottery online from the comfort of their own homes.

Driving the news: Jackpot.com launched a website and app in Texas earlier this week with $42 million in funding from some big sports franchises, including the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs.

How it works: The company calls itself a "digital courier service," comparing itself to Uber Eats and DoorDash. When a user purchases a ticket through the site or app, the company stores a physical ticket on the user's behalf and uploads it electronically.

  • The company then notifies the bettor when the drawing takes place and delivers any potential winnings.
  • Jackpot.com doesn't charge a fee on ticket purchases or keep a cut of the winnings, but it collects 15% of any funds users deposit. So if a player deposits $100, they have $85 to play with.

Between the lines: This is yet another nudge in the direction of more legalized gambling in the state.

  • While online gambling and sports betting remain illegal, Texas law allows for a lottery, parimutuel betting on horse and dog racing, and gambling at three tribal-owned casinos — in Eagle Pass, El Paso, and Livingston.

Threat level: The company says it launched with a certification from the National Council on Problem Gambling, noting in its announcement that its service "empowers players to play responsibly and avoid unhealthy habits by using technology to proactively identify problematic gambling and making it easy to set limits and find help."

By the numbers: The Texas Lottery is the third-largest in the nation, generating more than $8 billion in sales during the 2022 fiscal year, according to the Texas Lottery Commission.

  • Texans spend an average of nearly $300 a year on the lottery, per Yahoo — though that number is likely skewed by a small percentage of very frequent players.
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