Online Lottery & Scratchcard Games

Online lotteries are rather unique among all the other forms of online gambling, as most of the high-profile sites are operated by government officials instead of private corporations or major gaming networks. In most jurisdictions, the state holds a monopoly on the lottery market, so there’s little to no local competition. Consequently, lottery players don’t have to worry about ambiguous regulations or restrictive laws as much as poker and casino enthusiasts.

Buying a lottery ticket on one of the official, state-licensed sites is 100% safe. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t really hold true for third-party sites that allow you to buy lottery tickets from all over the world. In fact, some of those concierge services are simply scam attempts, so you should be very careful about picking the right place to play.

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Online Lottery Basics

Virtually every official lottery site is tied to one of the popular live lotteries, such as Powerball or Lotto. This means that online lottery players don’t have to worry about being a part of a separate player pool that doesn’t have access to all the massive jackpots and payouts. However, official lotteries have a major downside – in most cases, players are required to be physically present within the borders of the state in question in order to purchase a ticket. Lottery concierge services take advantage of these rules and act as proxies for people who want to purchase lottery tickets from abroad. As mentioned above, deals of this kind tend to be rather risky unless you’re dealing with a reputable site.

Official Online Lottery Sites

The rules, prizes, regulations and the availability of specific lottery games differs from country to country – regrettably, no site gives you access to a global player pool. In the United States online lotteries are organized on the federal level. However, the amount of states that allow their residents to purchase lottery tickets online is extremely limited, which means that most Americans are forced to rely on third-party sites in order to join the action.The situation is very similar in Canada, as online ticket sales have been introduced only by the most progressive provinces and territories like Quebec.

Australians on the other hand are free to access a wide range of lottery products, which are handled by Oz Lotteries – the exclusive distributor for NSW Lotteries, SA Lotteries and Tattersalls. Even better, Australian regulations don’t really require any of the participants to be physically present in the country in order to join the draw. What’s more, if you manage to win, you won’t be required to pay any taxes in Australia, but you should remember that local regulations could still apply if you were gambling from abroad. In most cases, Oz Lotteries guarantees that your winnings will be credited to your account within 24 hours of the draw. However, winning a jackpot might result in a delayed payout, which might take up to 23 days.

In the United Kingdom, buying lottery tickets online isn’t much of an issue. The lion’s share of the market belongs to the Camelot Group which hosts the National Lottery, but there’s nothing to stop you from buying tickets for EuroMillions or Lotto HotPicks without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, all players are required to be present in the UK or Isle of Man in order to receive their winnings.

Lottery Concierge Services

While inherently risky, lottery concierge services allow you to join dozens of lotteries from all over the world, including the British EuroMillions, Austrian Lotto, Californian SuperLotto, US MegaMillions or even the Italian SuperEnalotto. As you’d expect, the prices tend to be slightly higher than in the case of official operators in order to cover the costs of actually employing local agents and buying the tickets on the spot.

The most reliable third-party lottery sites provide their customers with a unique photo or scan of each ticket – I strongly recommend avoiding the ones that refuse to prove that their staff actually made the purchase. If you manage to win, most concierge sites will provide you with all the information required to arrange for a payout via e-mail.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that most of the reliable sites of this kind adhere to the highest standards in terms of customer support and security, as they safeguard your personal information using the latest encryption technologies and thoroughly verify every single account in order to protect you from fraud.

Making a Deposit and Cashing Out

Official lottery websites tend to differ from other gambling sites in terms of banking and generally don’t support all that many payment options. In most cases, you’ll have to pay for each ticket using your bank account. However, some of the official lottery operators allow their customers to transfer larger sums to an on-site account, which makes the entire process faster and more streamlined.

Official lottery payouts are usually paid directly to your bank account as long as your winnings don’t exceed a pre-determined amount – usually about $500. Larger wins are usually paid via a check, but keep in mind that hitting the jackpot will usually involve contacting the organizers and claiming the prize in person. Proxy lottery sites tend to be very similar to online casinos and poker rooms, as they allow you to fund your account using all the popular banking methods like e-wallet transfers or credit card payments.

Unlike the official operators, third-party sites allow you to take advantage of various bonuses and promotions, which often allow you to grab about $100 free as soon as you make your first deposit. Withdrawals are usually handled using the same method that you picked to make your payment, but many sites allow some exceptions to this rule, particularly when it comes to cashing out after major wins. Finally, you should keep in mind that the availability of some deposit and withdrawal methods might depend on your area of residence. For example, American players won’t be able to take advantage of any e-wallet services like PayPal or Neteller due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.