Would iGambling Hurt Online Lottery Ticket Sales in MA?

by Kyle Miller

State Treasurer of Massachusetts is worried that online lottery ticket sales will be harmed if online gambling is allowed first.

Massachusetts is one of many states in the US that has been contemplating online gambling. lottery as well as casino and poker gaming are all on the table, with one government official concerned that lottery ticket sales would be affected if online gambling is allowed at the same time. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg is advocating that the state move forward with online lottery sales first.

Making a Case for Online Lottery Ticket Sales

State Treasurer Deb GoldbergState Treasurer Deb Goldberg recently told the Massachusetts Special Commission On Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports that lottery gaming needs to come first. The office of Goldberg is over the lottery commission who recently met with the Special Commission in March to discuss online gaming activities and after the meetings, Goldberg seemed troubled at the prospect of online gambling being legalized before lottery ticket sales are allowed online.

Speaking to the local press, Goldberg said that it was interesting to hear the Gaming Commission had stated that they would like to see online gambling but then find out there are only so many entertainment dollars. She further stated that if they get online gambling and lottery sales are not allowed online, the money that is meant for the lottery would be captured by online gaming, money that goes to towns and cities. Goldberg feels this money would then be going towards a profitable entity like MGM or Wynn.

It is important to note that the Special Commission is not allowed to discuss the online lottery. This could be due to the fact that the legalization of online lottery gaming is under consideration and could take place before the findings and recommendations are provided by the Special Commission to the state. This is not set to take place until July’s end.

Should There Be Cause to Worry?

If online gaming were to come to pass before online lottery ticket sales do, there does not seem to be cause to worry. Consider land based gaming and online casino sites. States that offer both in the US are seeing profits and land-based venues are seemingly unaffected. It is also important to note that online gamers are not necessarily the same player group as those who purchase lottery tickets.

For many years, casino operators of land based venues felt that online gambling would affect their bottom line. However, over the past few years, operators are beginning to see that it can be an extension of what they already offer. Casinos can provide existing customers with an online alternative as well as open their brand to a new audience.

Goldberg’s concerns do seem reasonable as there is only a certain amount of cash that individuals have to spend on entertainment. However, players will be able to choose what they want to enjoy. If they want to play the lottery, then they will, whether it is only available via retailers or if sales begin to be offered online.

So, it will essentially be up to legislators if they choose to offer gaming for lottery players online in the near future or if it will take a backseat to online gaming. It will be interesting to see if any legislation will pass muster in the state and what will exactly be on offer for players who prefer online gaming to other alternatives. We will stay on top of recent legislation activity so report what changes take place as they happen.