Massachusetts lottery officials fear impact of New Hampshire's online sales

By Ray Downs  |  Aug. 30, 2017 at 12:06 AM
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Aug. 29 (UPI) -- As New Hampshire moves to allow online lottery ticket sales, Massachusetts officials gathered Tuesday to discuss how their neighbor's internet sales could impact their own state's lottery sales.

"We're facing a lot of different types of pressure as a lottery and New Hampshire being more aggressive and receiving more empowerment from their state legislature will have an impact on us, and clearly a negative impact as revenue goes," Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney told the Lottery Commission, according to Statehouse News Service.

Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg was more blunt.

"We're sitting here, like dead ducks, I feel like," she said, according to MassLive.

One major factor is that New Hampshire, unlike Massachusetts, does not have a state income tax, which means lottery winners get to keep an extra 5 percent of their winnings.

"Trust me, we will be marketing that benefit in a big way," said New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre.

Losing large amounts of lottery revenue could have a negative impact on the state budget. In 2014, the state's lottery made a profit of nearly $1 billion.

However, the expected increase in ticket sales in New Hampshire is already slated to go towards funding full-day kindergarten in the Granite State.

Massachusetts lottery officials are now urging the state's legislature to legalize online ticket sales, as well.

Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said lawmakers are looking into the possibility for 2018, but are wary of the impacts it could have on other gaming industries.

"Online lottery and online gaming are both issues that are being reviewed now to try to figure out how we manage the situation so we don't hurt the Lottery, and in the case of online gaming, that we don't hurt the casino industry we're building in Massachusetts," Rosenberg said in May.

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