Online Gambling in Lottery Form to be Proposed in MA

by Kyle Miller

Massachusetts treasurer may seek approval of online lottery gaming.

The state of Massachusetts has seen gambling grow considerably within the past few years with gaming venues in the works, including the MGM Springfield and Project First Light Resort & Casino. Tribal groups along with MGM are ready to offer casino gaming in the state in massive proportions. With the pending operations of new gaming venues, talk has also begun to take place in regards to online gaming. Neighboring states are considering offering such gaming, including New York and Pennsylvania, which means Massachusetts would see even more competition.

Online Gambling this year?

Because of the new venues, the state would have a land based venue in which online gambling could be connected to. States that offer online gaming in the US, like in New Jersey and Delaware, have a land based connection. This helps to provide a local source for the gaming to take place. With a New Year just begun, analysts are looking at states that may show an interest in entering the online gambling industry, Massachusetts being one such state. While most states are focusing on casino, poker or daily fantasy sports gaming, one official of the state is actually focusing more on lottery gaming.

Lottery Gaming Focus

Deborah GoldbergDeborah Goldberg is a treasurer for the state who is currently seeking to see online lottery games a reality this year. She would like to see approval given for lottery games to be made available online even though lawmakers do not seem to be on board with the idea.

A bill was actually filed by Goldberg last year but a vote did not take a place on the measure. A hearing that took place this past December the treasurer stated that it was true that the state is leading the nation for keno sales and many long-time customers continue to enjoy games in local restaurants and other locations in the state. However, Goldberg has stated that the keno market is virtually saturated. Because of this, a period of stagnation has begun.

Goldberg would like to see lottery revenues increase from $965 million this year by allowing consumers to play games online via a computer or an application. In a statement, Goldberg commented that with the impending arrival of casinos, plus an increase in competition from daily fantasy sports, the overall shift to online from point of sale transactions plus the aging lottery demographic, there is no choice but to pursue some new solution.

According to Goldberg, the focus needs to be made on the lottery in regards to millennials. Millennials are constantly online so it makes sense to offer fun and exciting games to appeal to this audience. The older generation will still have access to the standard lottery games but an online element will help to bring in the younger, more tech savvy crowd.

Of course there are those who are opposed to going online just as with any gaming expansion. Stephen Howitt is a state representative for Massachusetts who along with Plainridge Park Casino fear that the online sales will impact local stores income that rely on the lottery sales. Shawn Dooley, another state representative is open to online sales but would like to ensure that there are safeguards to go along with the measure.

Online lottery sales are already offered in other states so such an idea can be a positive. For now, it seems that the option is just an idea and Goldberg may have to do a great deal of work to get legislators as well as gaming operators on board to see online lottery sales become a reality.