Legalisation of online lottery sales a possibility in Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts reported to be considering legalized online lottery sales
  • Move comes after state of New Hampshire passes similar legislature

After neighbouring state New Hampshire passed legislature approving online lottery ticket sales in the state, lawmakers in the Bay State of Massachusetts are reported to be considering following suit.

Could Massachusetts residents see an online lottery soon?
Could Massachusetts residents see an online lottery soon?

It has been suggested that the drive forward is due to possible concerns that lottery businesses could suffer as a result of New Hampshire’s passing of online lottery ticket sales and, understandably, the Bay State is keen for that not to happen.

Two bills for the price of one

It has been revealed that two bills for the legalisation of online lottery sales have been presented to the state Legislature over the last few months.

The office of Massachusetts Treasurer, Deborah Goldberg presented the second bill in a move which was supported by head of the State Lottery Commission Mr Michael Sweeney, who has seen a reported drop of 2.5% in lottery sales for the financial period of 2017 and is keen to re-boost the coffers.

The first bill was presented by Senator Jennifer Flanagan, who has since left her role leaving her bill still in committee. However, according to Massachusetts newspaper Lovell Sun, of the five candidates in line to replace her, four approve of the legalisation of online lottery sales and would likely push it forward.

Opposition

There has been noted opposition to potential legalization, especially from local retailers. Committee representative Steven Howitt R-Seekonk is reported by the Lovell Sun as saying: “What is the success of the lottery? Is it to create as much sales as possible to go back into the towns at the expense of small businesses?”

Senate candidate Michael Kushmerek is allegedly also concerned but has suggested that any legalisation of online lottery sales should be ‘safeguarded’ to protect vulnerable people deemed at risk of gambling addiction.

It looks like the possibility of legalising online lottery sales is gathering momentum in Massachusetts, with the move in New Hampshire potentially initiating something of a domino effect.

How long it could be before either bill could be passed remains to be seen but in the short term this a positive step for online lottery ticket sales.

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