A new survey has found that almost 70% of the voters in Massachusetts do not back online lottery legislation. Considering the fact that only 5% of the voters confirmed that they back the idea of local lottery industry’s expansion, the majority of local residents who have the right to vote are overwhelmingly against the Internet expansion of the Massachusetts Lottery.
The survey was initiated by the Save Our Neighborhood Coalition, formed by a number of associations, and carried out by Princeton Research Associates.
The local business owners have been concerned that they will lose their businesses in case that online lottery sales are officially allowed by local lawmakers. The problems cited by the Association include various issues, including banking information protection, illegal gambling, as well as gambling addictions becoming more serious. In addition, the opponents of online lottery operations claimed that if the Massachusetts State Lottery goes live on the Internet, that could lead to massive lay-offs in local businesses. According to them, approximately 7,500 people set to lose their jobs due to the fact that less lottery tickets are expected to be sold in local stores in case that online lottery operations are made legal in the state.
The state of Massachusetts has been seeking to legalise online lottery for some time now. Several local authorities, including the State Treasurer, have made a number of attempts to legalise online lottery, but the idea have faced harsh criticism and concerns. Back in January 2017, Deborah Goldberg, State Treasurer of Massachusetts, officially introduced a piece of legislation that would allow the Massachusetts State Lottery to offer games on the Internet. Such a bill was also passed a year ago, but unfortunately for the supporters of the piece of legislation, it was not given the green light by the House.
What is more, the local Gaming Commission has shared its belief that making online gambling within the state would help Massachusetts finally properly regulate and impose taxation on wagering websites that already exist.
The state of Massachusetts have been seriously relying on revenue generated from lottery operations, with the amount generated in the last fiscal year being estimated to around $80 million. Local authorities and residents who support the Massachusetts State Lottery going live on the Internet, have shared that the state’s revenue from lottery operations has declined by 16% in the period between 2008 and 2015. The lottery results have been seriously hurt by inflation, with fewer people being likely to wager money on lottery tickets, regardless that the latter are easily accessible at local stores.
According to the State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, making online lottery ticket sales legal in Massachusetts is the proper way to reach younger players. Ms. Goldberg has previously said that online lotteries and online gambling is the future and local authorities need to face that.