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Massachusetts Releases Online Lottery Gambling Initiative

By: Fabian Rictor, Tuesday January 5th 2016
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Massachusetts is heading to be the fourth state in the USA to have legalized online gambling of some sort. The present initiative is more attuned to Internet lottery products and some other verticals, but regular online casino games and online poker could follow later. Therefore the pro online gambling lobby in America will be watching the developments with interest.

The Massachusetts state lottery has wasted no time in the New Year getting its online gambling plans into gear and releasing a public notification requesting for information from interested companies. The notification invites organizations to submit proposals for the development, implementation, operational support and maintenance of an iLottery system for Massachusetts Lottery. It also calls for the proposals for the development and integration of digital versions of existing and new interactive lottery games. These would include social gaming and daily fantasy sports options among others. The notification, which is a detailed one, reveals that the Massachusetts Lottery is also interested in “gaming systems that allow for cross-pollination between online applications and physical retailer space and any other progressive gaming opportunities that may be available.”

The information asked for from interested vendors includes details of how player account registration, management and authentication would work. Another important area of concern is how a web-based wagering and payment system would operate. The idea is clear that Massachusetts Lottery wants to ensure that responsible gaming controls are adequately addressed. The state lottery also wants to protect its convenience store ticket retailers, numbering approximately 7,500, that depend on lottery sales commissions and lottery based foot traffic. In fact the intention is to integrate them into the iLottery system. Massachusetts Lottery developed an interest in DFS last year, and is also exploring the possibility of offering its own DFS product.

In November last year, Massachusetts Lottery executive director Michael Sweeney had given a hint of this initiative in a newspaper interview. He had said that the introduction of Internet lottery would enable them to move ahead in an important emerging market without cannibalizing existing products. Sweeney has the support of Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. She has said that this is an important issue for the state’s lawmakers. She added that high lottery sales should be maintained by innovative thinking in new areas such as daily fantasy sports contests. Both Sweeney and Goldberg are targeting the younger next generation audience adept at using mobile devices. The 25-to-45-year-old males form the demographic that is the special target market.

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