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Digital Scratch-offs Soon Available Online - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Digital Scratch-offs Soon Available Online

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Minnesota's second best retailer for the lottery is right here in the valley! M & H in Moorhead says almost 3 out of 5 costumers buy a gambling ticket of some sort.

But soon The Minnesota State Lotto is going to have scratch- off available online. That's why Thursday CAGE, or Citizens Against Gambling Expansion, voiced their concerns at the state capitol.

But as Valley News Team's Kristi Larson talked with people buying tickets today, online gambling isn't everyone's choice.

"We've won on pull tabs, in South Dakota what we won $500 there," John Toth says with a smile, "and then we won $5,000 in Montana, and in Minnesota I've won before here."

John and his wife Eleanor love playing scratch-offs, and even hit some luck today, but for others this is how an addiction can form.

Duane Emmel with The Village Family Service Center says addiction can start small but then overwhelm a person.

"It's an outlet, it's something they enjoy, they might call it a hobby, but addiction is that you have to do it, and then in turn addiction reaches a point where in turn where it starts affecting relationships, family, finical loss." Emmel says.

That's why some people fear if scratch-offs become allowed online by the Minnesota Lottery  it will make it hard for those with a problem.

"I think it'd be a lot harder for them to say no if they are just sitting at their computer and click click click." Kyle Young says who had won some money from scratch-offs he received as a Christmas present.

"It becomes easier for them it becomes more addictive," Emmel explains, "and so they'll end up having more debt and more gambling issues that they must deal with."

But many people who talked with Valley News Live say they would rather see where their cash is going and in return have a ticket in their hand.

"It's too easy to be manipulated in other ways, this is printed on a hard card, and what's there is there." John says as he scratches away at another ticket.

"For me I think the fun of it would be actually doing it physically and not sitting at a computer doing it." Young laughs.

But no matter where you sit, to play the game you have to be okay with winning and losing.

"You pocket what you win and if you don't win you don't win." John laughs.

A person would be only allowed to gamble $50 a week for the online scratch-offs. The Minnesota Lottery Director says they are still in the testing phase, but expect to open it to the public soon.
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