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Most states operate a lotto or lottery to raise funds for public projects. Owners of retail businesses such as convenience stores and restaurants can apply for a license to sell lottery tickets to their customers. If you meet your state's requirements, you can usually obtain a license with only a modest financial investment. The state provides free equipment, promotional materials and training. You earn a commission on all tickets you sell, and you receive a bonus for selling winning tickets.
Research the requirements and procedures for obtaining a license in your state. Find this information on your lottery commission's website or by contacting a retail lottery agent. Each state has a different application process. For instance, in New Jersey you must first schedule an interview with a regional office, while in Maine and Ohio, you download an application packet.
Submit application forms and other documents. Many states require that you own an established business and meet a minimum sales volume before applying. In Ohio, you can apply for a license before opening your new business. Most states charge an application fee. The application process typically takes one to three months to complete.
Complete a criminal background check. You must disclose any criminal record and obtain a fingerprint card from a law enforcement office. Some states will not grant licenses to individuals convicted of felonies or other serious crimes.
Open a checking account for your lottery business. Arrange with your bank to allow electronic fund transfers between the checking account and your state. Authorize the state to make automatic deposits and withdrawals to settle your weekly invoices.
Purchase a lottery bond from an insurance agency or a company specializing in surety bonds. Because the state sells you lottery tickets on consignment, you only pay for them after you sell them to customers. A bond protects the state from financial loss if you mishandle lottery funds or withhold payment.
Determine whether the physical location of your business, including the building and grounds, complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and state disability laws. Your business must be accessible to customers in wheelchairs. Arrange for an on-site survey if required by your state. If you cannot meet the regulations, consider applying for federal tax incentives to help pay for improvements.
Attend training courses if required as a condition of your license. In many states, the lottery equipment vendor delivers training sessions at either your business location or at a regional site. Topics typically include lottery laws, operation of the lottery machines and selling techniques.
Most states conduct a criminal and financial background check of all officers and principals associated with your business. Ensure that everyone meets the requirements before beginning the application process.
Your state may require you to sell a minimum number of lottery tickets per week to maintain your license.
- New Jersey Lottery: Everything You Need to Know: How Do I Become a Retailer?
- Maine State Lottery: Becoming a Maine State Lottery Retail Agent
- OH! Lottery: How to Apply
- Minnesota State Lottery: Retailer Application Instructions
- Pennsylvania Lottery: Pennsylvania Lottery’s Retailer Accessibility Standards
Dana Cedarman has worked in the health-care industry for more than three decades. During her career, she has written a wide range of business, scientific and medical education materials. Cedarman holds a Master of Science in immunology.