Massachusetts Mulls Online Lottery Sales

Lawmakers in the Bay State are considering allowing the state lottery to sell lottery tickets online. The idea is to appeal to a younger generation that rarely buys lottery tickets but loves to use its mobile platforms.

A joint Massachusetts legislative committee, the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, last week reported favorably on a bill that would allow online lottery sales in the Bay State.

The bill would authorize both online and mobile app sales. The Senate chairman of the committee, Barbara L’Italien declared this would give the state lottery “the tools it needs to compete in the 21st-century economy.” The lottery is seeking tools to appeal to millennials and younger players who depend on their mobile platforms, and are less likely to buy traditional lottery tickets.

Joanne Mendes, executive director of the New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association fears the reduced lottery traffic that retail operations would experience if online lottery sales were allowed.

The bill would require that winners of jackpots between $200-$600 visit a store to collect winnings. Prizes larger than that would need to be claimed at the lottery’s headquarters.

The next step for the bill will be debate in both houses of the legislature. The current session ends on July 31.