Tim Skubick: The challenge of online lottery sales - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Tim Skubick: The challenge of online lottery sales

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Scott Bowen, Michigan Bureau of State Lottery commissioner Scott Bowen, Michigan Bureau of State Lottery commissioner
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Michigan lottery sales are on the upswing with a record year in the works and while everyone has played one of the games here and there, you'd be hard pressed to name the guy who runs the show.

Go ahead and try.

See, you can't unless you happen to be a relative of Mr. Low-Profile-Don't-Want-To-Be-Interviewed-By-The-Media Lottery Czar Scott Bowen.

To say that Mr. Bowen, a former Democratic hopeful for state Attorney General, is hard to find is a gross understatement. So when he popped-up in public the other day, all the doors were locked so he could not escape. (Not really.)

The topic for the rare one on one was Internet lottery games.

Recall last December, the Obama Justice Department shocked the gaming world by opening the door for states to legally sell lottery tickets over the Internet as in buying them at home on your computer.

Just think of the gas money you will save by not going to the local retailer -- money you can bet instead. But the retailers will worry about the money they will lose if you do.

It's not going to happen tomorrow but Mr. Bowen asserts, "We will go online eventually." It's either that or the rest of the gambling world will leave Michigan in the dust.

"That's our feeling," he goes on.

The challenge he reports is "protecting our citizens" to make sure they don't gamble their life away from the convenience of their computer and to make sure young kids are prevented from getting lottery fever along with making sure all the players are residents of this state, one of the fed requirements.

"Policing. That's the big question," he explains and his team is still mid-stream trying to figure all that out before he pulls the trigger.

But pull it he will.

Can you hardly wait, or what?

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