HomeArizona Sports Betting NewsArizona Launches New Online Gambling Platform via State Lottery

Arizona Launches New Online Gambling Platform via State Lottery

The Arizona Lottery recently announced the launch of "Lucky Lounge," a new online platform that features games and prizes.

Image: IMAGO / Design Pics Editorial

Participants use tokens to play any of four digital games and potentially earn more tokens for sweepstakes ultimately to win cash.

The games are: “Windfall Willie,” “Crossword,” “Boogie Down and Dash,” and “Arizona Cascades.”

“We are excited to introduce everyone to Lucky Lounge, the first lottery product of its kind designed to engage players with an online sweepstakes experience that provides many ways to win with the Arizona Lottery,” Arizona Lottery Executive Director Alec Esteban Thomson said in a statement.

“Lucky Lounge is the first lottery product of its kind, aiming to provide an engaging online sweepstakes experience with multiple winning opportunities,” Thomson added. “I take immense pride in our team for devising such a groundbreaking product that promises unprecedented player engagement.”

Interested players first have to be registered for a Players Club account through the state lottery, after which they are invited to take a virtual tour of the “Lounge.”

Players can earn tokens by playing games, purchasing them within Lucky Lounge, or by exchanging their Players Club Points for tokens. Moreover, logging in daily ensures Players receive 50 complimentary tokens on each day that they log into the Lounge.

Players can choose to enter weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly drawings, with prizes going all the way up to $10,000. Players can redeem up to 1,440 tokens daily to maximize their chances of a major jackpot.

Enthusiasts likely will sign up for the free app for their mobile devices, enabling them to play any time they like. The website is called AZLuckyLounge.com.

More than $5 billion has been generated by the Arizona Lottery since it debuted in 1981. Those funds have gone toward higher education, economic development, environmental causes, and a variety of health and human services.

What’s the Next Step for Arizona?

New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada each have featured legal online casino play for just over a decade, and for a time, there were expectations that many more states would follow.

That’s what happened when the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 opened the door for states to legalize sports betting, voiding a 26-year-old federal law passed by Congress that, to a great extent, had given Nevada a national monopoly on such gambling. Within five years, three dozen of the 50 U.S. states plus the U.S.-controlled District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had legalized sports betting.

But the only other states to legalize online casino play since then have been Pennsylvania (2017), West Virginia (2019), and Michigan (2021).

That is, until Monday, when Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill into law making Rhode Island the seventh state to legalize that form of entertainment.

It’s no coincidence that after Pennsylvania’s neighbors New Jersey and Delaware legalized online casino games, that state followed suit. And once Pennsylvania came aboard, neighboring West Virginia followed.

But while Arizona is a neighbor of Nevada, the latter state is broadly seen as its own unique entity. And more importantly, Nevada gamblers can only play poker online – not popular alternatives offered in the other five states, such as online slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, etc.

So any state west of the Mississippi River that legalized full-throated online casino gaming would make major regional news. It certainly would get the attention of gambling legalization supporters in Colorado, which is one of the most aggressive western states in terms of offering a variety of gambling.

There is a precedent – in November 1980, a referendum approved by voters across the state made Arizona the first western state to legalize lottery games. And by 1983, Colorado had launched its own lottery games as well.

In fact, a majority of western states – Utah being a permanent exception due to its still-existing ban on all gambling – had started selling lottery tickets by the end of the decade of the 1980s.

It also is worth noting that while only 51% of Arizona residents backed the lottery proposal in 1980, by 2002, public support had grown to 73%. Clearly, Arizonans collectively have become comfortable with gambling.

Arizona Lottery officials have not indicated a push toward Arizona online casino legalization yet, but if there is little to no public pushback against the launch of the “Lucky Lounge” – and so far, none is apparent – then it might not be long before state lawmakers seek a new source of revenue from online casino gaming.

In New Jersey, the state collected $299.4 million in taxes from online casino operators, outpacing the $179.1 million collected from the state’s nine casinos in Atlantic City and placing well ahead of the $97.9 million contributed by Arizona’s sportsbooks.

Arizona has about 80 percent as many residents as New Jersey does, so it would not be difficult for legislators there to envision taking in at least $100 million from online casino gaming annually within about five years after legalization.

And thanks to games like “Windfall Willie” and “Boogie Down and Dash” now being offered by the Arizona Lottery, political resistance in the statehouse in Phoenix likely would turn out to be minimal.

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