Lottery gambles on online betting OK

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg has been waiting three years to get lawmakers’ approval for online Lottery sales.

It looks like that wait will continue, now that language allowing that transition remains stuck in legislative limbo.

Goldberg has previously declared that if legalized sports betting uses an online platform, so should the Lottery.

It took several years for that to happen. Gov. Charlie Baker just signed a bill that allows state residents to place in-person and online wagers on both professional and collegiate sports.

Just a few weeks ago it looked like the Legislature was prepared to move ahead to legalize sports betting and allow the Lottery to migrate online.

The House version of the economic development bill includes language that would remove the prohibition that prevents the Massachusetts Lottery from selling most of its products online.

But blindsided by the revelation that nearly $3 billion in tax relief could be required by law and unsure how to proceed with separate tax-relief measures, the House and Senate didn’t produce a final economic development bill by the end of the Legislature’s formal session on July 31, jeopardizing everything contained in the branches’ packages, including online Lottery authorization.

Though the Lottery remains remarkably successful, citing increased competition for gambling dollars from casinos, daily fantasy sports and sports betting, Goldberg has sought that internet option for years.

“Should members come back this fall to finalize the Economic Development Bill, I encourage them to allow the Lottery to offer products online,” Goldberg said Friday.

“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.”

Aside from bonding authorization, other provisions of the House and Senate economic development bills can still be passed during informal sessions.

However, the objection of just a single lawmaker would derail any action.

For Goldberg, it’s undoubtedly worth that gamble.

Source link

Photo of author

Matt Lucas

Writer by day and an aspiring Artist by night. Creative thinking is what I'm all about. Lottos are one of my passions and I'm happy to be contributing to Lottery Papa News

Leave a Comment