The Illinois Lottery recently launched Fast Play games online, making the Land of Lincoln the first state to do so.
Illinois began offering Fast Play games in September 2020. In only 14 months, Fast Play has generated nearly $48.3 million in sales, and players have purchased more than 11.7 million tickets.
Players have won nearly $36.7 million in prizes from retail Fast Play games.
Those numbers are impressive and should skyrocket with online expansion. Games include Piggy Bank Bucks, Hot Dice, Blackjack, Illinois Jackpot and Quickspot.
Harold Mays, Illinois Lottery Acting Director, said in a press release:
“We’re excited to offer our players the ability to play Fast Play whenever and wherever they want. By modernizing the way we deliver our products, we provide convenience for players while also strengthening our ability to continue generating essential funding for education and good causes across Illinois.”
Certain games have fixed payouts, while others have a progressive jackpot.
While Illinois is the first state to offer Fast Play games online, it is not the first state to offer online lottery games in general. Georgia and Minnesota already do so, and mobile lottery is legal in several states that have yet to implement it.
Illinoisans can play using the Illinois Lottery app or the Lottery’s website.
Is Illinois done expanding online gambling?
With the Illinois Lottery expanding its online offerings, it has some wondering whether or not online casinos are next.
“The Department may offer Lotto, Lucky Day Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, Pick 3, Pick 4, and other draw games that are offered at retail locations through the Internet program.”
There is no such language for online casinos.
There were IL House and Senate online casino bills in 2021, but neither gained much traction. Video gaming terminals (VGTs) remain a huge obstacle for online casinos in the Prairie State.
The VGT industry fears competition from expanded online gaming, and as of now, the industry has enough politicians’ support. VGTs generate substantial tax revenue for Illinois every month, so it’s easy to see why some might not want to mess with that success.
With that said, it doesn’t mean online casino is dead in Illinois. Several lawmakers have targeted 2023 as the time to revisit legislation, as the state could be looking to generate more revenue further removed from stimulus money.
Rep. Michael Zalewski said of online poker earlier this month:
“Going into the 2023 legislative session, that’ll be coming out of stimulus money and we’ll be looking for ways to generate revenue. I expect online poker to be something seriously discussed soon. I think the prospects are good. I’ve been up in Michigan, I’ve been on the DraftKings app. It’s haunting how easy it is. But the technology is there and I expect it to be legal sooner rather than later.”
Slowly but surely, online gaming is expanding in IL. Perhaps unexpectedly, the lottery is taking the lead.