Massachusetts Lottery lobbies for online play in sports betting plea

Massachusetts Lottery calls for protection amid expected sports betting launch
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The Massachusetts Lottery has called for protection to local aid as sports betting begins to be introduced in the state.

The Legislature passed a legal sports betting bill on August 1, 2022, and the Gambling Commission is said to be in the process of writing rules and building a regulatory framework ahead of its launch in Massachusetts.

However, as reported by the Boston Herald, the Massachusetts Lottery has expressed concerns that the introduction of sports betting could affect its own operations, and has urged the Gaming Commission to ensure sports betting regulations protect the lottery.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Chair of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, said: “While lawmakers project that sports wagering will generate $60m in state revenue each year, only $16.5m, or 27.5%, will be earmarked for unrestricted local aid.

“By contrast, the lottery produced approximately $1.1bn for our cities and towns just last year.

“Simply put, the lottery plays a vital role in generating unrestricted local aid for our cities and towns, and it is imperative that we work to ensure it continues to do so.”

Goldberg further suggested that the Gaming Commission devise regulations that require sports betting operator applicants to present a plan that can mitigate impacts on the lottery prior to receiving a licence, and be a partner in cross-promotion, both in-person and online, as has been the case with some of the state’s casinos.

Another key proposal put forward by Goldberg involves the Massachusetts Lottery and the idea of online play.

Currently, the Massachusetts Lottery is not allowed to sell products online.

But Goldberg wants to change that in order to allow the lottery to remain competitive with other gaming operations, despite FY2022 being a huge success for the Massachusetts Lottery as it recorded its highest ever revenue at $5.86bn.