Massachusetts Lottery Director Advocates for Online Games and Ticket Sales

Published on: April 3, 2024, 10:07h.

Last updated on: April 3, 2024, 10:20h.

Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Mark Bracken urges state lawmakers to authorize online lottery games and ticket sales for individuals aged 18 and above within the state’s borders.

Massachusetts Lottery online gaming
Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Mark Bracken testifies before a legislative committee on Beacon Hill in April 2023. Bracken emphasizes the need for the lottery to go online due to the rise of online sports betting in the state. He wants the lottery to expand its presence online. (Image: MassLive)

Bracken leads the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, overseeing the state’s lottery activities. He expresses concern that online sports betting is diverting customers away from the lottery.

We are the last gambling segment that has not moved online,” Bracken stated at the lottery commission’s recent meeting. “People can engage in sports betting from the comfort of their homes, posing a risk to our lottery business. Lottery players do not have the same convenience.

Currently, 11 states offer iLottery, allowing players to buy tickets for popular interstate lottery games like Mega Millions and Powerball online. These states include Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Players in Washington, DC can also participate in online lottery games.

Local lottery retailers in Massachusetts strongly opposed the idea of expanding the lottery online when Bracken initially proposed it last year.

Benefits of the Lottery

Bracken appeals to the Massachusetts General Court to pass legislation allowing online lottery activities. He argues that this expansion is crucial for maximizing the lottery’s contributions, which primarily support cities and towns through unrestricted local aid.

Since selling its first ticket in March 1972, the Massachusetts Lottery has raised over $28 billion for community projects.

Bracken believes that the state’s seven online sportsbooks have attracted some lottery players due to their ease of use and 24/7 betting options. Introducing online instant scratch-off games could help bring back these players to the lottery.

Although sports betting may have impacted the lottery’s recent performance, the 2023 fiscal year was the best on record. The Massachusetts Lottery generated a net profit of nearly $1.2 billion for the year ending June 30, 2023. However, most of that fiscal year did not face online sports betting competition.

The 2024 fiscal year will provide more insight into the impact of online sports betting on the lottery.

Jackpocket Acquisition

In February, Boston-based DraftKings agreed to acquire lottery courier service Jackpocket for $750 million in cash and stock. The deal is set to be finalized in the latter half of 2024.

Jackpocket enables players to use a courier to place lottery bets on their behalf, charging a 7% commission on deposits.

DraftKings plans to leverage Jackpocket to convert lottery players into sports bettors in states where the app operates, including Massachusetts. In regions with legalized iGaming, DraftKings aims to transition Jackpocket users into online gamblers.

The proposed deal will allow DraftKings to tap into the vast U.S. lottery market and enhance its sportsbook and iGaming offerings through increased customer value and improved customer acquisition,” DraftKings stated when announcing the acquisition.

Jackpocket is operational in 16 states, as well as Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.


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