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Massachusetts Eyes Online Lottery

Posted on November 4, 2016 | Comments Off on Massachusetts Eyes Online Lottery

On Wednesday a new bill was filed by Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to legalize online lottery through a new concept called iLottery. The new legal framework is supposed to allow drawing tickets and playing games on the internet, but it will include rules about payments, setting the spending limit and preventing minors from playing. The rest of the details will be left up to Massachusetts State Lottery Commission to determine.

Lottery Should Keep Up With the Time and Technology

This summer a bill on allowing the sales of lottery tickets online and via mobile devices got the green light from Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure but it failed to pass the Senate. Now, Treasurer Goldberg followed through on her promise to file the new bill on iLottery on November 2nd. She argued that the sale of lottery tickets might face a decline in the future and that it should be modernized to suit the needs of new-age players.

Though there are heated debates about “putting” the lottery online and many have already attacked Goldberg’s proposal claiming that online lottery would negatively affect gambling habits and be more available to underage players, the Treasurer has readily retorted to their objections. She has pointed out that iLottery will enable them to monitor the behavior of the players and thus have better insights in their habits.

Furthermore, the bill itself will include strict rules about the spending limits, it will not allow the use of credit cards and require verification from players that they are located in the state of Massachusetts and that they are over 18. As the Boston Globe reports, even the convenience store owner will be covered by the bill through a clause obliging the state commission to actively work on their promotion and they will also be allowed to offer gift cards that could be used for playing lottery online.

Online Gaming and DFS Under Consideration

Another major step in the regulation of online gambling in Massachusetts has been made this week. Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports was formed following the passing of the bill on regulation of daily fantasy sports. The role of the commission is to create a study that will look into the potentials of online gaming and daily fantasy sports. The newly-founded commission will have a task to carefully examine every aspect of the prospect of regulation of online gaming including “economic development, consumer protection, taxation, legal and regulatory structures, implications for existing gaming, burdens and benefits to the commonwealth and any other factors the commission deems relevant”.

The set time framework for the completion of the study is July next year. Eileen Donoghue and Representative Joseph Wagner will be leading figures in the Commission, which will meet regularly every four to six weeks.

The above is a move in the right direction for the full legalization of online gaming and online casinos. While a slow process, steps are being taken to better understand online gaming and once states and the US Government as a whole fully understands the revenue implications through taxation, we believe it will not be long before we see a fully regulated and legal USA online casino based right here in the United States. We are not there yet, but every step forward gets us that much closer. For now though, USA players will still have to play at real money online casinos located offshore.

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