Massachusetts Green Lights Online Lotto Sales
Massachusetts legislators have given the go-ahead for online sales of lottery tickets. What that entails has not been meted out as of yet but Massachusetts appears poised to enter the world of online gambling.
Bay State gamblers may find it easier in the near future to buy a lottery ticket for one of the many jackpot, multi-state drawings or even an instant scratch ticket. An economic development package sent to the state senate was overwhelmingly approved by the margin of 39-1 and in that bill was an amendment from Democrat State Senator Jennifer Flanagan that would allow online lottery sales.
Though the bill itself was virtually uncontested, there was objection to Flanagan's amendment which was approved by a much smaller margin of 22-17. The concerns are voiced from the anti-gambling establishment as well as brick and mortar lottery retailers. The trepidation amongst retailers is that their revenue will dive due to the accessibility of lottery sales from pc's and mobile devices. Retailers in Massachusetts not only derive income from the sales of the lottery jackpot drawings and scratch tickets but also the ancillary income that comes in the form of other products offered within the store.
The Massachusetts Lottery Commission will now have jurisdiction over what lottery products are sold and the package also includes a study on daily fantasy sports. Massachusetts is one of the most successful lotteries in the nation and has set revenue records for five consecutive years. In the last fiscal year spanning July 1st to June 30th the Mass State Lottery hauled in a record $5.23 billion which was $217 million higher than the previous mark.
Massachusetts has the highest prize payout of 73.4 percent and the relatively small net profit of $1 million more than the previous year is evidence of that. Deborah Goldberg, the Mass State Treasurer, used the slight net increase to bolster her contention that the Lottery needed to expand into other arenas.
This latest push is further evidence that the world of online gambling is beginning to appeal to state governments. Only four other states offer online gambling and Massachusetts would be the fifth to do so. State governments are beginning to accept the notion of online gambling and perhaps this is simply the beginning of what could lead to a change in philosophy at the federal level.
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