The Massachusetts State Legislature was expected to push forward with both sports betting and allowing lottery products to be sold over the internet; however, when the bill was finally drafted by lawmakers, it didn’t entirely cover the sale of lottery merchandise.
Though it did have measures to remove the prohibition laws which prevent the lottery from selling products online, the legislature couldn’t agree on the framework for the $3bn in tax relief potentially required by law. An issue that could be revisited when Congress returns from its recess, as both House and Senate leaders have said they intend to pick away at spending policies.
Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, a prominent supporter of allowing lottery products to be offered online, said upon the news of the state’s legalization of sports betting: “I am pleased that the legislature explored new ways to generate sustainable revenue for the state this session. With sports betting set to go online, I hope to work with the legislature to hold the lottery harmless.
"Should members come back this fall to finalize the Economic Development Bill, I encourage them to allow the lottery to offer products online. We are prepared to implement a safe and reliable iLottery with the ability to produce significant, additional dollars for the state, possibly even exceeding the earnings from sports betting.”
In the meantime, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission warned bettors that the operating regulations could take months to set up, potentially disappointing many who hoped to be able to place bets ahead of the new NFL season.