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Friday, July 20, 2012 - 5:00am

Georgia Lottery Approves Online Sales

Georgia Lottery customers will soon be able to buy tickets with the click of a mouse.

Lottery officials on Thursday approved an online ticket system for the first time, with sales expected to begin this fall. The online sales are projected to increase the lottery's revenue by millions, which would help the state's lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who has opposed expanding gambling in Georgia, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was fine with online lottery ticket sales.

Online sales will initially be limited to Powerball, Mega Millions and Fantasy 5.

Controls are planned to make sure players are at least 18 and to assure tickets are bought only in Georgia.

Lottery officials also approved the "iHOPE" card, a new debit card for lottery and retail transactions.

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