Herb Riede's Blog

Random Thoughts: tumblr Censoring weird things

In my post yesterday I was trying to talk about taking the PA Lottery online.

Every time I attempted to post, I got “There was a problem saving your post”.

I tried another day and another, having to save what I wanted to post in a Word DOC, as I couldn’t even save as a draft.

I finally tracked down information that your post can be censored for keywords.

Of course, I thought, I am talking about gambling too much, and even included the word “Bovada”, referring to an online gambling site born from BoDog to cater to US players.

Yet everything I just typed doesn’t get censored.

What causes tumblr to throw a hissy fit?

I mentioned the lottery’s “printable promotions” in my post, but instead of promotions I originally used the word “coupons”.

Having that two-word phrase causes tumblr to have “a problem”.

I can say “coupons”, and I can even say “printable”, but I can’t put them together.

I don’t know what people have done to cause this behavior, perhaps the reality TV shows where people stockpile stuff from shopping sprees has people abusing tumblr somehow.

I just thought in a post with “gambling”, “lottery” and everything else, saving 50 cents on a can of soup would be the least NSFW tag in my post.

Oh well.

Random Thoughts: Taking the Pennsylvania Lottery Online

The Pennsylvania Lottery has been growing leaps in bounds technologically in the past decade. With the constant tie-in of online second chance sweepstakes, and printable promotions, the Lottery is engaging what it calls its VIP players.

However, there is much resistance to the idea of allowing online purchases of lottery tickets. Some of the opposition comes from those worried about societal impacts, others who oppose the move are the businesses where the lottery is sold. Both of these complaints are valid.

On the other hand, there are some who enjoy leisure games such as WorldWinner or take their risks playing online at casinos like Bovada for whom self-limiting is not a problem, or if they have a problem, the state isn’t going to prevent access.

So, in order to try to balance the desires of a snow bound group looking to extinguish boredom, possibly increase revenues for the Lottery, and prevent damage to the businesses who host lottery terminals and instant games machines, I would propose the following:

  • Enable online accounts for people to interact with the Lottery. 
  • Require these accounts to be set up at a Lottery Retailer with a Pennsylvania ID or DL
  • Require funding to these accounts to occur at a Lottery Retailer or Instant Games machine
  • Limit deposits and playing volume on these accounts to $300/month
  • "Cashing out" must be done through a Lottery Retailer, subject to normal prize limits and potential other daily or monthly limits

This could be improved, obviously, however the potential tie-ins are increased beyond the simple sweepstakes. 

Second-Chance drawings could be as simple as using a QR scanner on a phone - they could be instant win second chance games tied to the user’s account that would credit their account.

Online instant tickets could also be developed. And any sales commissions for lottery or instant games could easily be credited to the retailer who accepted the deposit on a FIFO basis, with recycled winnings from those tickets remaining assigned to that retailer.

On that front, an aside - why can’t a user scan the cash-in QR code and discover whether a ticket is a winner, in order to confirm their reading of a ticket?

All Aboard!

All Aboard!