Powerball expansion to Australia is delayed, staying in Idaho for now
Powerball had hoped to expand to Australia this year to boost sales and revenue. But the plans are being put off.
The Idaho Lottery has been participating in Powerball, the lottery game operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), for more than three decades. But state lawmakers said passed legislation to end its MUSL membership should Powerball expand to Australia.
Idahoans in the state legislature voiced concerns that Australian states participating in Powerball could use their lottery revenue from the game to further advocate anti-gun policies both at home and in foreign relations.
But with MUSL revealing that Powerball’s expansion to Australia will not happen this year, the Idaho Lottery says it will stay in the association through at least 2021.
The potential decision to withdrawal from MUSL and Powerball participation certainly would have come with repercussions for some Idahoans.
Lottery retailers that sell Powerball tickets receive commissions on each ticket sold. Of the $2 Powerball purchase price, the retailer, such as a convenience store owner, pockets a five% commission or 10 cents.
Retailers also receive financial rewards when they sell a winning ticket. For example, the convenience store that sold the January $731.1 million winning jackpot received a $100,000 bonus.
Large Powerball and Mega Millions of jackpots also push customers into such businesses to buy tickets. Unlike some other states, the Idaho Lottery does not sell tickets online.
Powerball expansion “is just not happening this year”
Powerball is currently played in 45 states, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. MUSL had planned to take the game to Australia beginning this August.
MUSL now says that its goal is to have Powerball operational in Australia, as well as the UK, at some point in 2022.
Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson told the House State Affairs Committee “That doesn’t mean that we won’t be back next year to try to address this because it’s my understanding that this is inevitable. It’s just not happening in 2021.”
Editing by Rachel Hu