Illinois Lottery Online Pilot Program Expires Before End Of March

Mar 4, 2016

A pilot program allowing the Illinois Lottery to sell tickets online will expire before the end of the month.

Credit Illinois Lottery

There's no time for lawmakers to keep the program alive before then. The House adjourned until April.

Republican Rep. Ed Sullivan from Lake County sponsored a measure to make the pilot program permanent.

"Because it's a process that has done well," Sullivan said, "and it's done well for bringing money into our schools."

But Democrats prevented it from advancing.

"I don't know that the Internet part of the Lottery is that heavily used, so I'm not sure that it poses a big ... big loss at the moment," said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Sullivan blames House Democrats for keeping it bottled up as a partisan budget fight festers.

"So a generator of money for our schools is going to go away because of the problems we're having in this building," Sullivan said.

Lottery proceeds benefit education and go toward construction projects statewide.

A spokesman for Madigan says there wasn't time to vet ideas seeking to expand online sales. He says lawmakers can revisit the issue in the spring.

Online Lottery sales make up only a fraction of state revenue. It brought in less than $11 million last year.