Pa. Lottery’s new iLottery has the look of slot games and casinos aren’t happy about it

Several iLottery games also have the same names as casino slot machines: Robin Hood, Super Gems, Slingo, Big Foot, Volcano Eruption and Monster Wins. (Screen shot courtesy of Pa. Lottery)
Pennsylvania’s casino industry is complaining that the state's new iLottery internet gaming system mimics slot games in violation of the state’s gaming law. The dispute appears to be headed for court. (Photo courtesy of The Pennsylvania Lottery.)

You may not have to pull a handle to win on these slots, but the state’s casino industry is calling foul on the lottery’s new games of chance. The casinos claim the digital games offfered by Pa. Lottery are too similar to the state’s digital gaming systems and violates the gaming law.

Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell acknowledged in a June 29 letter to the casinos’ attorney, Mark Stewart, that the online lottery games were inappropriately marketed as “slot-style” or “casino-style.” Hassell blamed the advertising on an affiliate of the iLottery vendor, and said the practice had stopped, writes Andrew Maykuth in

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It seems the issue, which will probably need to be settled in court, came to light as the deadline for casinos to file applications for the first state interactive gaming licenses that were being offered.

The licenses cost $10 million each, though some in the casino industry privately question the value of the certificates if the state’s giant lottery system is moving into the casinos’ space. The licenses allow the casinos to offer online gaming in three categories: peer-to-peer interactive games such as poker; non-peer-to-peer interactive table games; and interactive games that simulate slot machines.

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