Illinois C-stores Warm To Online Lottery Proposal

If a bill will also commission studies to examine the impact the online lottery would have on c-stores and gas stations, IPMA would remove its opposition to the proposal, says IPMA spokesperson.

The Illinois Petroleum Marketers’ Association (IPMA)/Illinois Association of Convenience Stores (IACS) has said it could withdraw its opposition to a bill proposing online lottery in the state, the State Journal Register reported.

Originally the association feared allowing lottery purchases online would cause ticket sales at c-stores to be pushed out, causing a major loss of revenue to c-stores as lottery ticket purchasers are known to also buy other products while at the store.

When Senate Bill 3497, sponsored by Sen. Jeffrey Schoenburg, D-Evanston, was being considered by the Senate Executive Committee on March 7, Bill Fleischli, IPMA’s executive vice president, attended to testify against the bill.

When Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones learned of retailers’ concerns, he said assured them there are no plans to end ticket sales at stores.  

Given that promise, the IPMA/IACS has indicated it could support bill if it includes language to commission studies that will examine the impact the online lottery has on convenience stores and gas stations.

“If all those things are there, we’ll remove our opposition to it. In fact, we’ll support it,” Fleischli said Monday.

Fleischli noted c-store operators still support creation of a “value-added card” that would be sold only in retail stores and would be needed to play the online lottery, ensuring retailers are not left out of the money that could be made from an online lottery.

Fleischli added that Schoenberg’s bill could be amended to study this option.

Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, has proposed House Bill 5676 that would require these cards to play the online lottery—that bill is still in the House Rules Committee.




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