Lottery officials in the state of Massachusetts have asked lawmakers to pass a law that would allow the state lottery to experiment with online betting.
State lottery officials are urging support of a bill filed by State Senator Jennifer Flanagan, which would legalize games without a cash transaction, at least initially.
Speaking to the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Lottery Assistant Executive Director Beth Bresnahan said, "We are not proposing to offer these games to our players with an actual cash transaction, nor are we seeking any appropriation to fund such operations. Rather in the interests of preserving and protecting the Lottery, we simply want to ensure that we have a solid understanding of the technology and logistics of online gaming should this market space become more competitive. Existing law does not permit us to conduct such experimentation."
Current Massachusetts law prohibits online gaming, even when no money is involved. The proposed Flanagan law would rewrite that and allow for the testing to commence.
Such a step forward may be necessary for The Bay State, who is reporting a drop in bingo games and other forms of legal betting. "If we do not start to prepare for the future generation of lottery players we'll find ourselves with a smaller player base," Bresnahan said.
Flanagan's bill is not unopposed however, as many convenience stores fear that online betting could cost them lottery ticket sales.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.