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New York State Lotteries Laws

State Lottery Laws in General

A number of states -- including New York -- now have an official lottery, which is used for raising revenue. State laws govern the operation and accounting of the games; distribution of lottery revenue; time limits for claiming prizes; and activities considered illegal (such as selling lottery tickets to minors). See Details on State Lottery Laws for more information.

An Overview of New York State Lottery Laws

New York was one of the first states to have a lottery, dating back to 1967. It was created after voters approved a 1966 referendum, which passed by 60 percent.

According to New York's lottery statute, between 40 and 60 percent of lottery revenue goes toward prizes and between 25 and 45 percent goes to the state lottery fund. The exact percentages depend on the game. Most of the state lottery fund is used for supplemental aid to school children, while certain instant games in New York City are earmarked for the city's anti-crime division.

Players must be at least 18 and have one year in which to claim prizes. Prizes of more than $600 may be garnished for payment of past-due alimony or child support.

The following chart lists main provisions of New York's lottery laws, with links to additional sources.

Code Section Tax §1600, et seq.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue 40-60% for prizes depending on the game; 45-25% to state lottery fund
Additional Purpose of Lottery Supplemental aid to all school children; signs must be posted to assist compulsive gamblers; special instant game in New York City to benefit anti-crime division
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment On prizes over $600, applied against past-due support (including alimony, child or spousal support or maintenance) and against any public assistance benefits given an individual within the last 10 years (not to exceed 50% of prize)
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 1 year/retained in lottery prize account to be used for special lotto or supplemental lotto prizes or for promotion purposes to supplement other games on an occasional basis
Prohibited Related Activities Sale to minors (under 18)

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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New York State Lottery Laws:

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