According to a recent report by EnterpriseNews, Massachusetts lottery officials are seeking legislation that would allow for online gambling experimentation. Officials have requested lawmakers in the state make changes to current law, so they can see what would happen if the option were available.
Beth Bresnahan is the Assistant Executive Director the State Lottery and she recently spoke with the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure stating the lottery is not proposing to offer online gaming for real money or appropriation to fund operations. Lottery officials simply want to ensure that they have an understanding of the technology and logistics involved in online gaming if the industry becomes more competitive. The existing laws in the state do not condone this taking place.
According to Bresnahan, the laws of the state do not allow for online gaming, even with no money involved. The lottery officials say they want to experiment with online game play and then move to actual gambling online one day. Officials foresee that revenues will decrease once the casinos are opened in the state and an online option would certainly give them a way to make up lost revenues. The state is currently trying to decide who will be building casinos in the state, with a total of 3 in the works.
Those for the option say that this would be the perfect opportunity for new revenue in areas that are in need of local aid. Those opposed state that online gambling may hurt the retailers who carry lottery tickets.
For now, the state would have to make certain changes in the law to allow for online gambling, even in free-play form. Officials of the lottery will not be able to experiment with online gambling until these changes are made. Legislators have yet to respond to the request of lottery officials.