The Maryland Lottery hopes to have its online lottery sales platform up and running by January 1, 2013.
Lottery Director Stephen Martino tells WBAL Radio that the Maryland legislature approved $500-thousand for the lottery to start up the program and hire some additional staff.
Martino says the time has come for Internet lottery sales in Maryland.
"We just think this is a way that people are doing business and commerce is moving. You can buy practically anything on the Internet. It just seems logical," says Martino.
He says Illinois just launched its Internet lottery sales program and about a dozen other states are looking at such programs.
"In no place where an Internet lottery platform has been launched has there been a decline in retail commissions or retail sales at traditional lottery retailers," says Martino.
All the traditional lottery games would be sold online in Maryland.
Martino says interested players would set up an account where officials would verify that the player is 18-years-old and legally able to purchase a ticket.
He believes that allowing Internet sales will help boost the number of players in Maryland.
"Internet is attracting a new customer. It is not cannibalizing from the current customer base. So people who have been used to going to the retailer to play their numbers or buy their tickets are going to continue to do that," says Martino.source