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Senate votes against online lottery

ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators voted Friday to ban the state lottery from selling tickets online. The amendment by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, passed on a voice vote, going on an otherwise routine gambling bill that passed 55-2. The vote...

ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators voted Friday to ban the state lottery from selling tickets online.

The amendment by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, passed on a voice vote, going on an otherwise routine gambling bill that passed 55-2.

The vote came a day after a House committee took a similar stance.

Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Patten told the House committee Thursday that existing law allows him to sell tickets via the Internet. The lottery has sold some tickets online for years and earlier this year began selling online versions of scratch-off games.

Gambling opponents told the House committee that Van Patten exceeds his authority when he allows online ticket sales.

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Some lottery customers buy tickets up to a year in advance, Van Patten said. "What do we do with those sales? ... We have to shut down our system."

While the House committee did not deal with whether lottery tickets could be sold at fuel pumps, as happens in parts of the state, the Senate amendment would ban such sales.

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