The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) is fighting the New York State Gaming Commission’s plan to allow licensed “courier services” like Jackpocket to buy New York Lottery tickets in stores and then resell them online.
“This move to legalize modern-day numbers runners would introduce inappropriate double standards, compromise age verification principles and afford them privileges never before granted to brick-and-mortar lottery retailers whose decades of hard work have grown New York Lottery into a $10 billion-a-year enterprise,” said NYACS President Jim Calvin.
He said it is not clear whether or not the Gaming Commission even has the power to sanction courier services. State law authorizes the commission to license agents to sell lottery tickets but not to license entities as agents of lottery customers.
Retail stores physically check the customer’s ID to verify age. In fact, under the “We Check ID” campaign, the Gaming Commission requires stores to provide age verification training to all personnel and display We Check ID signage at the point of sale.
Since online ticket resellers would not be able to physically check a customer’s ID, the Gaming Commission proposes instead to allow courier services to utilize “native or third-party age verification procedures” to “verify that each person registering for an account with such licensee is not under the age of 18.”
They would submit “a detailed explanation of the steps taken to prevent persons under the age of 18 from placing a request for courier services through such licensee’s network.”
NYACS maintains that online age verification is far less reliable than live, face-to-face interaction.
“If the Gaming Commission crosses this threshold, it will establish a new, lower standard for age verification that will undermine the entire We Check ID program,” Calvin said.
In proposing regulations governing courier services, the Gaming Commission claimed that couriers’ reselling activity will cause only “minimal cannibalization of sales from existing lottery retailers,” but without explanation.
“NYACS believes any amount of cannibalization merits an in-depth analysis of the impact on small business sales, employment and viability, but they skipped that,” said Calvin.
The Gaming Commission also proposes to allow courier services to charge a “convenience charge” to their customers—an extra fee that brick-and-mortar lottery sales agents have never been and still would not be permitted to charge.