Massachusetts iLottery receives Governor's support as it advances to senate

April 24, 2023
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The Bay State senate enters an "active discussion" about online lottery competing with both sports betting and retail lottos.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has supported the move to legalize online Massachusetts Lottery sales.

Though the measure has previously lost in the Senate, Senator John Cronin, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, said an “active discussion” is now taking place in his chamber.

Cronin added that, since the House Ways and Means fiscal 2024 budget has been released, the matter of an online lottery is “at the front of our plate.” He continued, “I think everything’s on the table.”

Democrats in the Bay State have said that an iLottery could generate up to $200m in revenue, used for early education grants. The average Massachusetts resident reportedly spends $800 on lottery tickets annually – the highest amount in the country, according to local newspaper Sentinel & Enterprise.

Online sports betting’s launch in the Commonwealth has caused Interim Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lottery, Mark Bracken, to compare the two offerings, saying that there should be a competitive “sense of urgency” to expand into online lottery, so sports betting apps do not dominate the market.

Bracken said, “Every single penny of the Lottery’s profits are distributed to communities throughout the state for the benefit of those who live there. Sports betting and casinos, meanwhile are a for-profit business.

“We need to operate like any other 21st-century company – make our products available online.”

Bracken said iLottery would not, however, compete with retail lottery sales, though representatives from both the Massachusetts Package Stores Association and New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association questioned that claim.

Governor Healey added, “We have casinos. We have DraftKings. We have a lottery system that isn’t able to compete against DraftKings. The Lottery, that’s money coming back to cities and towns. The money spent on DraftKings is going to DraftKings.”

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