The first exclusively-digital progressive jackpot in the US lottery industry has launched through a partnership between Instant Win Gaming (IWG) and the Virginia Lottery. The game is named Lotto Virginia and combines the classic lotto game with a progressive jackpot.
The online lottery game comes as part of an effort by the Virginia Lottery to offer more digital content. The agency says Lotto Virginia is the natural next step to attract more players looking for digital games with higher prizes.
Nostalgic Lotto Game Meets Digital Progressive Jackpot
“This game has ‘Lotto’ potential!” said Scott Kenyon, Strategic Games Manager at Virginia Lottery. “It’s a natural next step for our iLottery product mix, and we look forward to seeing how it performs with our players.”
The gameplay of Lotto Virginia is similar to the retail version of Lotto Virginia previously offered by the state. It features a 6/42 gameplay, and players can purchase up to four tickets for each draw. If they match all six numbers, they win the progressive jackpot, but smaller matches trigger prizes.
InstantJackpots, IWG’s progressive jackpot engine, will power the new digital Lotto Virginia. The platform has been very successful and utilized in more than 75 eInstant launches in the last couple of years.
Kenyon says Lotto Virginia will attract new customers. He adds that there’s a spike in interest each time Virginia Lottery introduces jackpot draw games. Now, a digital offering will attract customers who might not have been interested in the retail version.
Online Lottery Is Becoming More Popular
As retail lottery jackpots over $1 billion are becoming the norm, interest in the online lottery is also increasing. And that’s why it should not come as a surprise that Virginia Lottery is looking to expand its game portfolio.
States offering an online lottery have increased in recent years. Eight states, including Virginia, offer online lottery tickets and instant games through their official websites. In many others, lottery players can purchase tickets online through a lottery courier service, such as Jackpocket. Mobile courier services are legal and licensed partners to state and national lotteries. Essentially, they purchase tickets on a player’s behalf.
Aside from state and national drawings like Mega Millions and Power Ball, online lottery players can win big prizes from instant win games. Multiple agencies, like the Michigan Lottery, offer up to $500,000 instant win prizes. With its progressive jackpot, the new digital Virginia Lotto is expected to become the highest-prize instant game.
After Another Small Step Towards Gambling Expansion, Could Online Casinos Be A Reality In Virginia?
Virginia Lottery’s duties have increased in the last several years. In addition to its traditional responsibilities and online lottery, the Virginia Lottery also oversees retail casinos and sports betting. But the agency is one of three gaming regulators in the state. The Virginia Racing Commission heads horse race betting, while the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates all charitable gaming.
A recent study by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission suggests the lottery agency oversees all gambling in the state as it’s best equipped and staffed.
A single regulatory agency could be the groundwork for possible gambling expansion, specifically online casinos. However, first, Virginia must get its retail casinos up and running before going that route. The commonwealth is new to brick-and-mortar casinos, with its first one opening last year, four are in construction, and a fifth is up for a vote.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With the expansion of retail casinos, Virginia can pass new laws and lay further groundwork to legalize online casinos eventually. One such step is a recent bill to increase responsible gaming spending.
We will see whether online casinos are possible in the near future. Still, the Virginia Lottery is looking to create a higher online presence, and the new Virginia Lotto game is a step in the right direction.