Treasurer Encourages Legislators to Legalize Online Massachusetts Lottery

On August 1, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed the new bill that would legalize sports gambling in the state’s casinos. The online sports betting vertical was also given the green light by state legislators a few weeks ago. However, things are not looking as promising for the iLottery vertical. At least, not anymore. 

iLottery Products in a Draft to the Economic Development Bill

Initially, the Massachusetts Lottery was included in a draft to the upcoming Economic Development Bill. In other words, the lottery’s online products were almost a sure thing, just like online sports betting. Nonetheless, a number of concerns regarding a huge tax relief fund came along, potentially interfering with the original iLottery inclusion plan. According to the new bill, both online sports betting and iLottery verticals would be required to pay a massive tax relief fund of $3 billion. Problems related to the way the respective tax funds should be separated between the two verticals started to pop. As of July 31, the final form of the bill was still pending approval. 

Question Mark for iLottery Products in the State 

This means that while online sports betting will remain a surety, things are no longer crystal clear for iLottery. Treasurer Deborah Goldber has expressed her hope in the online lottery’s power to be legalized in the state.

She expressed her content with the way legislators managed to find fresh solutions to trigger “sustainable revenue” for the Bay State, while encouraging legislators to finish off the bill this fall, provided they will be coming together. Goldberg encouraged members to allow the lottery to provide its products to online players, explaining Massachusetts was ready to offer “a safe and reliable iLottery” that could generate “additional dollars for the state”. The lottery’s earnings could go over online sports betting earnings, according to the treasurer. 

Members of the Senate and House still have plenty of items on their agenda, ranging from spending initiatives and other important policies. When and if the vote on iLottery would be given the green light is even harder to anticipate. 

iLottery Revenue Would Reach Local Cities

Just like sport betting revenue, iLottery revenue would be directed toward the local communities in the state’s cities and towns. Goldberg further explained that when sports betting will officially go online, the state would count more casinos and daily fantasy sports events that would trigger the need for “a level playing field” online for iLottery. 

The treasurer added that New Hampshire and ten other states of the 44 US where the online lottery was legalized have already generated over $1.3 million in revenue in 2021. The amount was raised in the first three months of the lotteries being launched online.

Lottery executive director Michael Sweeney announced that sales through the first half of the year were 6% higher compared to the same period of time last year. At the same time, the net profit was up by close to $65 million halfway through the fiscal year.

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