It's not the first digital courier program available in the Garden State, but Thursday's launch of Lotto.com in New Jersey creates a new way for lottery players to press their luck.

The scratch-built platform allows people to take a chance on a drawing simply by going to a website, rather than downloading an app such as Jackpocket.

Lotto.com CEO Thomas Metzger hopes it will enhance the "e-commerce experience" of playing the lottery by making the process more inclusive for younger, more affluent and more tech-savvy users.

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"For people for whom it's not part of their daily routine, we believe that our convenience factor will be a game-changer toward increasing the overall playership of the lottery," Metzger said. "A customer visits our site, they're not required to download any apps, they're not required to make any deposits, and they can go right ahead and buy as few as one ticket at a time."

Metzger said Garden State gambling regulations specifically stipulate that lottery ticket couriers cannot own retailers, so Lotto.com selected QuickChek as its New Jersey partner.

The platform could soon be coming to other states as well, but it is debuting here.

"Our strategy was, if we're going to partner with a lottery retailer, we want to partner with the biggest and the best, in our view," Metzger said. "And so QuickChek has been the No. 1 Lottery retailer in the state of New Jersey for years now."

The rollout has the backing of the New Jersey Lottery and was also cleared with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, which requested its 800-GAMBLER helpline be displayed on the website.

But while Metzger hopes for repeat customers, CCGNJ assistant executive director Dan Trolaro said Lotto.com's ease of use could lead to abuse.

"This is a bit of a unique one, where you can now have a touchless transaction at a brick-and-mortar establishment," Trolaro said. "It could lend itself to an increasing number of people experiencing gambling-related harms."

However, Metzger said that part of QuickChek's willingness to be involved hinged on Lotto.com's goal of adding to the lottery's customer base, not taking current players out of physical stores.

"Our primary business is not to convert bricks-and-mortar players into becoming online players," he said. "We're very much focused on creating incremental sales."

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