State Senator Vin Gopal today slammed the New Jersey Lottery Commission’s decision to vote on a proposal later this week that would allow players to purchase lottery tickets directly through a state-run app, depriving small businesses that currently sell lottery tickets of a crucial source of revenue.
“After telling me directly that they would delay this vote to have more stakeholder input, the New Jersey Lottery Commission has chosen to ignore significant stakeholder concerns and move ahead with a proposal that will devastate countless small businesses in the state,” Senator Gopal said.
The Commission’s proposed rule would represent a sharp departure from the 2019 Lottery Courier Services Act, which requires that all online lottery sales be tied to a brick-and-mortar business. Vendors have warned that the shift would not only result in the loss of direct lottery sales, it would cost their businesses ancillary sales from customers who purchase additional products when they visit local stores to buy lottery tickets.
Gopal added that if the Commission does approve the proposal this week, he will introduce legislation to protect New Jersey lottery vendors.
“This decision clearly defies the Legislature’s intent in passing the 2019 Lottery Courier Services Act,” Gopal said. “I’m urging the Lottery Commission to abandon Thursday’s vote and continue working with stakeholders and lawmakers on this issue. The commission was scheduled to meet with small-business stakeholders this week and is still pushing forward with this. It is not the job of the state of New Jersey to simply make money at the expense of cutting our mom and pop small-businesses out.
“I will push forward legislation to make sure that small businesses are included in this and I will lobby Governor Murphy over his final 2 years, as well as whomever his successor is to support legislation to stop the Lottery Commission from this action,” Gopal added.
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