Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Powerball iPads May Arrive at Twin Cities Airport

The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport may soon allow travelers to buy lottery tickets via the 2,500 iPads available in the main terminal.

The airport iPads have already proved very useful to terminal visitors, allowing them to check flight times, browse the internet, and even order food. The Metropolitan Airport Commission is now considering adapting the devices to permit passengers to use them to buy Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets as well as electronically simulated scratch-off tickets.

The idea was suggested by the New York-based company, OTG Management. The company operates all the food and beverage concessions at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and is keen to expand their influence into other areas.

The airports commission were going approve the idea at a recent meeting, but  tabled it when concerns were raised about the possible impact the expansion might have on the airport's existing lottery sales. The non-profit Airport Foundation currently operates a kiosk situated in the airport's main shopping area. It already sells Powerball, Mega Millions and scratch off tickets. Airport vending machines provide a further source of scratch-off tickets.

"We just want to make sure that nothing we do negatively impacts the Foundation, and that we know what we're getting into with this," said airport commission member, Paul Rehkamp.

The proceeds from  iPad lottery sales would be divided in several ways. OTG and the firm involved with the technology would get 5 percent, the airport would receive twice that amount, and the rest would go to the Minnesota Lottery.