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Massachusetts Lottery Director Pushes for Online Lottery Expansion

Publish Date:April 30, 2024
Fact checked by: Chris A
Massachusetts Lottery Director Pushes for Online Lottery Expansion

Massachusetts Lottery Director Pushes for Online Lottery Expansion

Mark Bracken, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lottery, is appealing to state legislators to authorize the launch of online lottery games and the sale of tickets over the Internet to individuals 18 years and older who are within the Commonwealth’s borders. As the leader of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, which oversees the state’s lottery activities, Bracken is concerned about the impact of online sports betting, which began in Bay State in March 2023. He believes it is diverting customers away from the lottery.

“We’re the final frontier for online gambling,” Bracken highlighted in the lottery commission’s recent meeting. “The ability for someone to engage in sports betting from the comfort of their home is a significant issue for us. Unfortunately, lottery players don’t have the same liberty.”

Presently, 11 states offer iLottery, enabling the purchase of tickets for major interstate lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball. These states are Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Additionally, Washington, DC, allows its residents to participate in online lottery games.

Last year, when Bracken proposed expanding Massachusetts’ lottery operations to the digital realm, traditional lottery retailers in the state expressed strong resistance.

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Uncovering the Advantages of the Lottery

Bracken urges the Massachusetts General Court to enact legislation permitting online lottery gambling. He argues this move is vital for the state to enhance its lottery contributions, which significantly support cities and towns via unrestricted local aid. Since launching its first lottery ticket in March 1972, the Massachusetts Lottery has generated over $28 billion for community projects.

Bracken suggests that the convenience and anytime access of the state’s seven online sportsbooks have attracted some traditional lottery players. Introducing online instant scratch-off games might lure these players back to the lottery.

Although sports betting may have impacted the lottery’s performance in the most recent fiscal year, 2023 still marked its highest earnings ever, with the Massachusetts Lottery announcing a net profit of nearly $1.2 billion as of June 30, 2023. It’s important to note that for most of the 2023 fiscal year, online sports betting did not pose competition.

The fiscal year of 2024 will provide a clearer picture of how online sports betting affects the lottery’s revenue.

Concerns About Jackpots

In February, Boston’s DraftKings announced an agreement to acquire the lottery courier service Jackpocket for $750 million, payable in both cash and stock. This acquisition is slated for completion in the latter half of 2024.

Jackpocket facilitates lottery participation by acting as a courier for players, placing bets on their behalf, and charging a 7% commission on account deposits.

DraftKings plans to leverage Jackpocket to transition lottery enthusiasts into sports bettors within states where its sports betting operations are legal, and the lottery courier app is available, including Massachusetts. Additionally, in jurisdictions where online gambling is permitted, DraftKings aims to encourage Jackpocket users to delve into iGaming.

The proposed deal allows DraftKings to penetrate and expand within the vast U.S. lottery market. More critically, it will bolster its foothold in the sportsbook and iGaming sectors by leveraging increased customer lifetime value. This improvement comes from proven cross-selling abilities and a more effective customer acquisition strategy, DraftKings explained during the acquisition announcement. Jackpocket operates in 16 states, in addition to Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

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