Residents of the Bay State may finally get online Lottery options. According to reports, former State Senator Jennifer Flanagan snuck in a bill calling for legalizing online state Lottery games before leaving for her role on the Cannabis Control Commission. While a bill proposed by a departing Senator may seem dead in the water, 4 of the 5 proposed successors have expressed their support for it, meaning it has a real shot as passing into law. If that doesn’t work, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg also filed a bill to introduce state Lottery products online.

Online lottery options have been notoriously opposed in Massachusetts for years, however the state’s hand may be forced because of New Hampshire recently authorizing online lottery sales. Supporters of the proposed changes in Massachusetts believe that NH’s new lottery policy could cut into the commonwealth’s total lottery revenue. State Senate Candidate Claire Freda, who is running as an independent, echoed these concerns and stated that Massachusetts will lose part of its competitive edge if they do not move to the online platform soon. New Hampshire will be launching their online platform sometime early 2018, so there is time for Massachusetts to get the legislative ball rolling.

Players already have a variety of ticket options through licensed online lottery agents, however state regulated online lottery tickets would expand the range of options available. There are also international lottery games available to Massachusetts residents, with high potential payouts and easy accessibility.

Some of the aversions to Massachusetts ushering in online lotto versions are exposing material to underage users and fostering gambling debt, but these measures are easily counteracted through strict regulation and by providing helpful gambling addiction resources. One of the biggest advantages it would bring would be allowing all types of players to get in on the action, including elderly or remote residents without the means to travel to licensed lottery retailers. All of the money would go back to the state and go towards infrastructure, education, etc., so it is a win for local government if they can figure out how they want the market run.

Another State Senate Candidate, Michael Kushmerek, proposed capping the number of online lottery games people can play. If they reach the limit, they would have to buy a ticket from a physical retail location. He believes this would help create a balance between existing brick-and-mortar establishments and state regulated websites. However, enforcing something like that could be difficult and might stir opposition from residents.

In order for online Lottery to become successful in Massachusetts, there needs to be a case study examining the effects of it on the market. With sales figures down compared to last year, the local government does not have anything to lose to at least look into the matter. Well, the state could lose even more revenue when traffic migrates over to New Hampshire online products. It’s like Freda said, if Massachusetts wants to remain in the game, they should move on online lotto soon.