California Lottery Explicitly Comes Out Against Online Courier Services

Eric Raskin

california lottery sign

Online lottery courier services like Jackpocket, Jackpot.com, and Lotto.com operate legally in numerous states.

But California is not one of those states. And the California Lottery wants its retail partners to know that with absolute certainty.

The CA Lottery issued a press release this week, warning the state’s retail sales outlets not to sell lottery tickets to third-party couriers and spelling out that winning tickets sold that way will not be honored.

“Online lottery ticket courier services are illegal in California,” California Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker stated in the release. “We are thankful for the support of our retail partners in helping our customers play safely, rather than exchanging money with a third-party, unregulated business. Any California Lottery player who buys their games through an online courier is not eligible to win.” 

Lottery couriers explained

Lottery courier service executives have likened what they do to “the Uber Eats of lottery.” In states where a courier is available, customers place online orders of lottery tickets through them and a representative from the courier purchases the physical tickets at a retail location, with customer funds handled in a digital wallet.

Jackpocket, which was acquired in May by DraftKings, is legal in 19 states. Lotto.com is available in 10. And Jackpot.com, the official lottery courier of the Associated Press, operates in six states.

California, however, has taken a firm stance against couriers thus far, and cautioned in the press release that “any retail partner knowingly engaging in ticket sales to online lottery couriers, their employees, agents, and/or contractors may be subject to the termination of their retailer contract.”

The California Lottery has more than 23,000 retail partners.

The released also spelled out that the bonuses retailers typically receive for selling winning tickets will not be paid if the ticket is found to have been purchased online.

While the big three of Jackpocket, Jackpot.com, and Lotto.com do not list California among the states in which they operate, smaller courier Mido Lotto lists California among its active states in the FAQ on its website.

The California Lottery participates in Powerball and Mega Millions, as well as other smaller draw games and assorted scratch-offs with prizes as high as $10 million.