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Mass. state senator wants online lottery ticket sales

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Mass. state senator wants online lottery ticket sales

A Beacon Hill push under way today to sell Massachusetts Lottery tickets online — which backers say could boost cash-strapped state coffers by as much as $1 billion a year — is getting strong support from an unlikely corner — liberal icon U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

"I don't understand why liberals think they're supposed to tell people not to gamble," Frank told the Herald yesterday. "They favor gay marriage, legalization of marijuana and sex-oriented literature, but not gambling. It's totally inconsistent. It's wrong for state and federal government to make betting a crime. . . . I am in favor of people being able to gamble online."

Lawmakers today are slated to mull a bill requiring the state Lottery to launch a pilot program letting players use their credit cards to buy tickets on the Internet — a plan proponents say could eventually spike sales by 10 percent to 25 percent, potentially raising another $1 billion a year for hard-pressed cities and towns.

"The idea behind it is to increase Lottery sales and generate more revenues for the commonwealth," said John Regan, chief of staff for state Sen. Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), who introduced the measure while serving in the Navy Reserves in Iraq. "Other states are doing it, and the senator thought it would be best to do a pilot program to see how much could be raised."

For starters, Regan cited gambling industry estimates that up to 60,000 Bay State residents take part in unregulated Internet gambling, spending as much as $250,000 daily with offshore operators. "The Lottery can capture these revenues by offering (what) the online gaming residents want along with the transparent regulation that offshore regulators lack," he said.

Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, said he's cautiously optimistic about the online plan but wants to move slowly "because the Lottery is such a source of revenue for cities and towns, we want to make sure that any changes are done carefully."

But the Beacon Hill proposal faces stiff opposition, beginning with the Lottery's boss, State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

"Allowing credit card payments without careful analysis of the consequences could very easily exacerbate problem gambling across the state," Grossman told the Herald.

New York, Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland and North Dakota currently sell lottery tickets online, some with lukewarm results.

Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the New York State Lottery, said Lotto and MegaMillions — the only two tickets available — sell an additional 95,000 season tickets online annually, ranging in price from $100 to $500 each.

"We introduced online purchases as a convenience to our customers because we want to offer products to people where they are," she said. "Lots of our customers are snowbirds who winter in Florida or North Carolina, and it makes it easy for them to buy."

Thomas Larkin, president of the United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts, said expanding lottery sales online is "bad public policy."

"Money lost to gambling comes right out of the general economy," Larkin said. "Increased debt also has social consequences, including depression and alcoholism."

Tony Amico, owner of Ted's Stateline Mobil in Methuen, the Bay State's largest sales agent who last year earned nearly $411,000 in Lottery commissions, said the plan is bad for businesses such as his.

"We have five Lottery stations, and 80 percent of our customers play the Lottery," Amico said. "Selling tickets online would substantially hurt us."

Boston Herald

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15 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by sully16.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
-Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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Posted: July 19, 2011, 11:52 am - IP Logged

I wish it was somebody besides Barney Frank pushing this idea. That guy makes my skin crawl. He puts the creep in creepazoid. He's the kinda guy you don't want touching you or being in close proximity to your food. Just seeing him or hearing his creepy, lispy voice brings on the gag reflex.

 

But I like the idea of legal online lottery sales, nationwide in fact.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
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    Posted: July 19, 2011, 12:09 pm - IP Logged

    I wish it was somebody besides Barney Frank pushing this idea. That guy makes my skin crawl. He puts the creep in creepazoid. He's the kinda guy you don't want touching you or being in close proximity to your food. Just seeing him or hearing his creepy, lispy voice brings on the gag reflex.

     

    But I like the idea of legal online lottery sales, nationwide in fact.

    I Agree!  Where are the Republicans on this?  "Republican" is not be the same as "Puritan".  This issue is about FREEDOM -- freedom to choose how to spend your own money.

    The straw man put forth that gambling addiction hurts people is a red herring.  Alcoholics do a lot more damage, both to themselves and others, yet alcohol is freely available to any adult.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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      Posted: July 19, 2011, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

      I Agree!  Where are the Republicans on this?  "Republican" is not be the same as "Puritan".  This issue is about FREEDOM -- freedom to choose how to spend your own money.

      The straw man put forth that gambling addiction hurts people is a red herring.  Alcoholics do a lot more damage, both to themselves and others, yet alcohol is freely available to any adult.

      Yeah, I don't get it with the Republicans on this issue.

      Unless it's one of those catering to the Moral Majority issues they sometimes get carried away with.

      Doesn't make sense.


                                                   
                           
                                               

       

       

       

       

                                                                                                         

      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

       

       

        surimaribo24's avatar - img1901pn
        NEW YORK. RIVERHEAD
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        Posted: July 19, 2011, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

        finaly someone is pushing this to make it legal i hope it does workout. once one state does it the others will follow.

          Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
          Little Rock, AR
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          Posted: July 19, 2011, 1:37 pm - IP Logged

          I hope they sell raffle tickets online. I would buy a few in a heart beat. If they let players from other states play anyway.

            TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

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            Posted: July 19, 2011, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

            Im with you Grovel.

              Avatar
              westboro, ma
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              Posted: July 19, 2011, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

              being a resident here do not see any need for this. plenty of places per capita for purchasing tickets around here. stores would get hurt as many rely on it as their main revenue source. no fan of frank but he does support on line gaming for some reason.. they had a telephone service for purchasing tickets but that bombed as they charged .99 for the call...

                rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                Posted: July 19, 2011, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

                being a resident here do not see any need for this. plenty of places per capita for purchasing tickets around here. stores would get hurt as many rely on it as their main revenue source. no fan of frank but he does support on line gaming for some reason.. they had a telephone service for purchasing tickets but that bombed as they charged .99 for the call...

                Are you afraid it'll take business away from the Patels?


                                                             
                                     
                                                         

                 

                 

                 

                 

                                                                                                                   

                "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

                 

                 

                  haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                  egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
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                  Posted: July 19, 2011, 5:05 pm - IP Logged

                  Are you afraid it'll take business away from the Patels?

                  i think you mean business and other opportunites Wink

                  Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                    JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
                    Connecticut
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                    Posted: July 19, 2011, 6:22 pm - IP Logged

                    Todd ya hit it on the head..."Freedom"..

                    between marijuana reform/legalization,guns and gambling(offshore or home).,I think former judge napolitano summed it up best when telling a news reporter who was worried about the kids pertaining to those issues...."The supreme court has adressed these same issues and has said you can't make something illegal for an adult just because it might be harmful for  a child or else we'd all be living and acting like children"

                     

                    The government should be more inerested in people making choices for themselves and about them bearing their own responsibility than about taking care of them.

                     

                    God I hope the underdog ron paul gets in

                    "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
                    'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

                     


                      Avatar
                      westboro, ma
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                      Posted: July 19, 2011, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                      no, we have a quota on patels in this state. only 6 per county allowed. i know convenience stores are few and far between in ridgerunners neighborhood but using a credit card to buy lottery tickets and then default on the credit card may be a little too tempting for the weak minded even in this state. i'm against the credit card companies period but watch the default rate rise to 25% if this is initiated.

                        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
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                        Posted: July 19, 2011, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

                        no, we have a quota on patels in this state. only 6 per county allowed. i know convenience stores are few and far between in ridgerunners neighborhood but using a credit card to buy lottery tickets and then default on the credit card may be a little too tempting for the weak minded even in this state. i'm against the credit card companies period but watch the default rate rise to 25% if this is initiated.

                        in atlantic city i think there's 6 per city block LOL,but i'm wondering abt. the credit card thing,the c-store won't take C/C for lottery cause they only make 5 cents on the doller and a C/C takes abt.2 to 3 cents on the doller .not complaining i prefer cash for gambling.

                        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                          Oklahoma
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                          Posted: July 19, 2011, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

                          I hope they sell raffle tickets online. I would buy a few in a heart beat. If they let players from other states play anyway.

                          I second....Thumbs Up

                            Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                            Miami
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                            Posted: July 20, 2011, 12:01 am - IP Logged

                            There isn't a better place in te country to buy a scratch-off than the state of MA.

                            If I could get them online I'd have to go into therapy immediately, LOL!

                            "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace