Residents of Massachusetts seem to be in opposition of the online lottery.
In the United States, several individual states offer lottery gaming. Players of the lottery have the ability to purchase tickets via retailers which usually includes local gas stations and convenience stores. In some states, online lottery ticket sales are offered, making it easier for players to purchase tickets. The state of Massachusetts has been considering an online lottery and it seems that residents opposed.
Online Lottery Survey
A survey was recently conducted in the state in which the majority of residents in Massachusetts seem to be in disapproval of an expansion of lottery ticket sales over the internet. Save Our Neighborhood Coalition conducted the survey and claims that those taking part are opposed to the idea, with as many as 80% saying no to the creation of an online lottery option.
According to a local news agency, News 22, the respondents of the survey who opposed the idea stated they were concerned that minors would be able to gamble online, which would be illegal. Opponents are also worried about stolen banking information and worsened gambling addictions. 90% of those who are opposed to the plan say that people will pay for online lottery gaming via credit cards or with an electronic transfer and they do not want to see this allowed.
A majority of those polled also felt that the market, gambling as a whole, is already overly saturated. There are already traditional lottery ticket sales along with the Plainridge Park slots parlor and casinos currently under development such as the MGM Springfield. The respondents feel that this is too much and no new gaming needs to be offered.
A New Threat
It seems the Coalition feels that online lottery games will be a threat to the local businesses that already sell lottery tickets. More than 7,500 businesses in the state sell lottery tickets and if the option exists to play at home, these retailers will lose out on sales. According to reports by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the state actually offers the most successful lottery in the states but a year-on-year decline has been seen within scratch-ticket sales.
The state lottery would like to see legislators allow scratch tickets as well as keno and draw games take place online. They feel the internet will help the lottery survive and give the gambling activity the ability to continue to provide funds that go towards local aid.
Lottery Commission member and Comptroller for the state, Thomas Shack, stated that as he holds the position of apolitical and independent comptroller of the state, he has to say that it is disturbing that from the standpoint of having the most successful lottery in the nation and not participating in online gaming in any way, basically as the treasurer stated: ‘handing the keys over to private industry’.
It seems for most states to be successful when it comes to gaming these days, the internet must be involved. Consider the generations of individuals who are in their 20s and 30s as well as those who will soon be in that age bracket within the next ten years. These individuals and those to come have grown up with technology. They want to be able to go online to take part in entertainment. For any industry to survive, they must have some kind of online appeal or element. Without it, other providers will swoop in and take the business away.
It will be interesting to see if lawmakers decide to go ahead with online ticket sales anyways and if the lottery will be successful if online sales are allowed.