Massachusetts Introduces New Online Lottery Bill

Despite Massachusetts achieving no progress thus far in its efforts to bring its lottery product online, analysts familiar with The Bay State are hoping that 2017 may be the year when lawmakers finally persuade the naysayers that change is necessary in order to modernize its industry.
During the Fiscal Year 2016, the Massachusetts State Lottery may have generated $989.4 million in net profits, but estimates for the year ahead are below that figure. Furthermore, the lottery’s best-selling product, scratch cards, are currently lower for the first 5 months of fiscal year 2017 by 3%.
According to analysts, the need to modernize the state lottery by bringing it online has never been so pressing, especially as this form of purchasing is especially important amongst the younger demographic. One lawmaker who has been leading the drive to modernize the state’s lottery industry is Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who commenting on the need to adapt, explained:
“This past Christmas shopping season, Cyber Monday outperformed Black Friday. We really want to be prepared to have a more modern, forward-thinking product.”
In 2016, Massachusetts Sen. Jennifer Flanagan introduced an online lottery bill that managed to clear the Senate, but failed to be voted upon by the House. This year, Flanagan has wasted no time in introducing a similar piece of legislation, Bill SD.6, which aims to “conduct a state lottery, including a lottery conducted online, over the internet or through the use of mobile applications.”
In the meantime, the same old culprits are likely to stand in the way of the bill’s progression, including anti-gambling groups, such as Stop Predatory Gambling. Local gambling interest groups also vehemently oppose the move, and view gambling expansion as a threat to their business, with the list including Plainridge Park Casino, as well brick and mortar lottery retailers, and convenience stores.

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