Lawmakers looking at online lottery sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers looking at online lottery sales

March 3, 2004

Albany- Tim Lester buys lottery tickets about every week.

But he would rather buy them here than on the computer.

"I have a teenage daughter and it's hard enough for me to monitor what she sees on the Internet and things like that as it is," Lester said.

Lawmakers are looking at giving Georgians the option of buying tickets online to boost sales. The bill is scheduled for a vote tomorrow in the House. It would create a Web site called the "Georgia Peach Account," where people could play up to five dollars a day on debit cards or credit cards.

Right now, lottery sales in Georgia are strictly cash only and still growing.

"If the games are big, we have lines going out the door, like constant," said Peggy Dullary, a manager at a local convenient store.

But revenue growth may flatten out in the next few years, and the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program is already strapped. Lawmakers want to make sure there's enough money for students like Tim's daughter to get the scholarships they deserve.

"She's got a 3.5 average right now and I'm certainly hoping that it's still around when she graduates in 2005 and that we'll be able to take advantage of that," he said.

That's why it's so important lawmakers find more ways to market the chance for big money.

posted at 10:10 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com