BOSTON (AP) — A legislative committee has advanced a proposal that could allow online lottery ticket sales in Massachusetts.
Under current state law, lottery sales are limited to licensed outlets.
The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensing Committee released this week with a favorable report a bill that would allow the Lotteries Commission to run games online and through mobile apps.
The Senate panel chair, Democratic Senator Barbara L’Italien, said creating online lottery games would give the Massachusetts Lottery “the tools it needs to compete in the 21st century economy.” .
“Since millennials and other younger gamers have grown up with access to technology at their fingertips, they are less likely to buy lottery tickets in the traditional market and we need to find another way to serve them. involved,” she said.
Proceeds from the lottery go to cities and towns for municipal services.
The bill would require an age verification system to ensure no one under 18 plays the lottery, and shoppers would have to be physically in Massachusetts when transacting online.
Convenience store operators fear that online sales will cost them business.
“One of the issues with moving things online is, obviously, the reduction in store traffic,” said Joanne Mendes, executive director of the New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association. “People come to buy lottery tickets and hopefully buy other things as well.”
The bill would require lottery winnings over $200 but less than $600 from tickets purchased online to be claimed in person at an approved retail location such as a convenience store. Prizes of $600 or more must be claimed at lottery headquarters.
The measure has yet to clear the full House and Senate, and it is unclear if votes will take place before the end of the current legislative session on July 31.