Massachusetts Online Gambling Initiative Pushed Forward


News came this week that Massachusetts state senator Jennifer L. Flanagan has moved one with the state's plans to expand lottery gambling activities online when he filed legislation that seeks the state Legislature's approval for the initiative introduced by state treasurer Steven Grossman.

If they approve the legislation, Grossman said, the state Lottery Commission which he oversees as a treasurer would be ready to launch an initial suite of games online on a pilot basis in 2013.

However, he underlined that no initiative will be commenced without the approval of state politicians, and it will be initiated only with a regime which includes a role for the 7,400 retail lottery agents at convenience stores and other outlets.

Furthermore, Grossman predicted online gambling will bloom in the coming years and underlined the importance for the state lottery to be proactive in the new environment so as to keep generating revenues it can use on state aid to cities and towns.

'The threat from the Internet is imminent. Doing nothing is not an option. We need to move forward and test appropriately," Grossman said, adding that while there's no set timetable, he hopes to see some evaluation and testing before the end of 2013.

'I don't want to spend a dime of taxpayers' money until we are certain we have a new product line that we have tested,' he said.

On the other hand, Senator Flanagan, who filed the legislation, commented: 'This isn't a debate over whether you like gaming or not, this is a debate over the fact that we have to move to online gaming to protect state revenues.'

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