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Is the future of the Mass. Lottery online?

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Is the future of the Mass. Lottery online?
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Includes audio report

Massachusetts has the highest per capita spending on the lottery, and the Massachusetts State Lottery raked in almost $1 billion in net profit last year.

And yet, some state officials say there's an "imminent threat" to the Massachusetts lottery — internet gambling. State Treasurer Steve Grossman wants to beat both the federal government and private gambling companies to the punch. He plans to ask the Legislature to change state law so that the Massachusetts lottery can go online.

That would mean you could buy those Mega Millions, Powerball and scratch tickets from your home or smartphone, with your credit card, at almost any time. Is this a lucrative new revenue source for the state? Or could it cause a dramatic increase in gambling addiction?

Guests:

  • Steven Grossman, Massachusetts treasurer and receiver general
  • Alexandra Berzon, Wall Street Journal reporter covering the casino industry
  • Kimberly Young, director and founder of the Center for Internet Addiction and editor of "Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment"

LISTEN to the radio report

Radio Boston, Lottery Post Staff

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17 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by rdgrnr.
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United States
Member #122473
February 1, 2012
384 Posts
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Posted: January 10, 2013, 9:54 am - IP Logged

Includes audio report

Massachusetts has the highest per capita spending on the lottery, and the Massachusetts State Lottery raked in almost $1 billion in net profit last year.

And yet, some state officials say there's an "imminent threat" to the Massachusetts lottery — internet gambling. State Treasurer Steve Grossman wants to beat both the federal government and private gambling companies to the punch. He plans to ask the Legislature to change state law so that the Massachusetts lottery can go online.

That would mean you could buy those Mega Millions, Powerball and scratch tickets from your home or smartphone, with your credit card, at almost any time. Is this a lucrative new revenue source for the state? Or could it cause a dramatic increase in gambling addiction?

Guests:

  • Steven Grossman, Massachusetts treasurer and receiver general
  • Alexandra Berzon, Wall Street Journal reporter covering the casino industry
  • Kimberly Young, director and founder of the Center for Internet Addiction and editor of "Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment"

LISTEN to the radio report

I live in Mass I can't believe the state lottery raked in a 1 billion profit last year. If that's the case why does tuition keep going up for our state colleges each year? I think the payouts are not good on scratch tickets here. The most I've ever won was 200 dollars on a scratch ticket a few years ago. The money the lottery makes should really be helping people in this state instead of lining the coffers of the lottery.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    21222 Posts
    Online
    Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:22 am - IP Logged

    I live in Mass I can't believe the state lottery raked in a 1 billion profit last year. If that's the case why does tuition keep going up for our state colleges each year? I think the payouts are not good on scratch tickets here. The most I've ever won was 200 dollars on a scratch ticket a few years ago. The money the lottery makes should really be helping people in this state instead of lining the coffers of the lottery.

    The lottery itself does not keep the profits.  All of those $1 billion in profits already go to the state to "help people". 

    Here is a page that shows HOW the money is distributed:  http://www.masslottery.com/about/communities/distribution.html.

    Here is a page showing WHERE it is distributed: http://www.masslottery.com/about/communities/complete-list.html

    The Massachusetts Lottery, in my opinion, has a great system for delivering the profts, because it allows the local jurisdictions to decide how they want to use the money.  It is not all thrown into one big pot (like many states), where it gets wasted.

    From the Mass Lottery Web site:

    "Lottery revenues are distributed to the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth according to a local aid formula established by the Legislature. Lottery funds are not earmarked for any specific programs, allowing cities and towns to choose how they would like to spend the funds."

     

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

     

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

      RedStang's avatar - mustangstu zps4c591ef5.jpg
      Dutchess , NY
      United States
      Member #121966
      January 21, 2012
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      Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:31 am - IP Logged

      Online for State residents sounds good but i've always read alot of their money comes from neighboring states like New Hampshire. They should also try and partner with the Casinos. If they could setup a booth or put a bunch of machines all around the Casino, i think they would do really good.

        jjtheprince's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        St. Louis, MO
        United States
        Member #106138
        February 13, 2011
        245 Posts
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        Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:34 am - IP Logged

        Yep, I believe it.  Ever see anyone buy $10,000 in lottery tickets at one time?  I have in MA.

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          United States
          Member #122473
          February 1, 2012
          384 Posts
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          Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:38 am - IP Logged

          The lottery itself does not keep the profits.  All of those $1 billion in profits already go to the state to "help people". 

          Here is a page that shows HOW the money is distributed:  http://www.masslottery.com/about/communities/distribution.html.

          Here is a page showing WHERE it is distributed: http://www.masslottery.com/about/communities/complete-list.html

          The Massachusetts Lottery, in my opinion, has a great system for delivering the profts, because it allows the local jurisdictions to decide how they want to use the money.  It is not all thrown into one big pot (like many states), where it gets wasted.

          From the Mass Lottery Web site:

          "Lottery revenues are distributed to the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth according to a local aid formula established by the Legislature. Lottery funds are not earmarked for any specific programs, allowing cities and towns to choose how they would like to spend the funds."

          Hi Todd,

          Thanks for the info. I know that our lottery does give money out to states and towns but still have a hard time understanding why we have such high tuition for our state colleges and the fact that it goes up each year. One would think with all that money the lottery makes that it should really lessen the tuition of public colleges in this state.


            United States
            Member #116272
            September 7, 2011
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            Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:51 am - IP Logged

            I think online lottery sales will be about as popular as buying groceries online turned out to be.

            Just my opinion...... I could be wrong on this one........


              United States
              Member #116272
              September 7, 2011
              20244 Posts
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              Posted: January 10, 2013, 10:59 am - IP Logged

              Perhaps vending machines will work wonders...............


                United States
                Member #137433
                January 3, 2013
                469 Posts
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                Posted: January 10, 2013, 12:13 pm - IP Logged

                Didnt mitt romney give free tuition to top 25% of students

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  21222 Posts
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                  Posted: January 10, 2013, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

                  Hi Todd,

                  Thanks for the info. I know that our lottery does give money out to states and towns but still have a hard time understanding why we have such high tuition for our state colleges and the fact that it goes up each year. One would think with all that money the lottery makes that it should really lessen the tuition of public colleges in this state.

                  Unfortunately, with regard to education, the one thing that is never addressed by government is the soaring COST of education.  Annual tuition costs are beyond ridiculous at this point, because of all the crazy expenditures and pensions being paid.  Sending kids to college has always been something that is hard on the pocketbook, but when it gets to the point that a state lottery has to dedicate a billion dollars a year to make it work, then it's time to re-think the whole thing.

                  Sorry for the rant; I know about your high tuition rates and sympathize.

                   

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

                   

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

                    maringoman's avatar - kobold
                    Massachusetts
                    United States
                    Member #37433
                    April 14, 2006
                    1783 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: January 10, 2013, 7:54 pm - IP Logged

                    Hi Todd,

                    Thanks for the info. I know that our lottery does give money out to states and towns but still have a hard time understanding why we have such high tuition for our state colleges and the fact that it goes up each year. One would think with all that money the lottery makes that it should really lessen the tuition of public colleges in this state.

                    Are you confusing the Massachusetts Lottery with lotteries from other states? I know NY Lottery, NJ Lottery, NC-E Lottery and a whole bunch of other lotteries were set up purposely to support education. PA Lottery is unique because it was set up to support the senior citizens over there. Mass Lottery supports towns and cities which it does. I think the towns and cities use the money from lottery to support many programs including schools


                      United States
                      Member #116272
                      September 7, 2011
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                      Posted: January 10, 2013, 8:09 pm - IP Logged

                      Are you confusing the Massachusetts Lottery with lotteries from other states? I know NY Lottery, NJ Lottery, NC-E Lottery and a whole bunch of other lotteries were set up purposely to support education. PA Lottery is unique because it was set up to support the senior citizens over there. Mass Lottery supports towns and cities which it does. I think the towns and cities use the money from lottery to support many programs including schools

                      "Helping education" is always a good reason to raise taxes, but it never translates into lower tuition's.

                        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
                        United States
                        Member #112972
                        June 29, 2011
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                        Posted: January 11, 2013, 1:15 pm - IP Logged

                        "Helping education" is always a good reason to raise taxes, but it never translates into lower tuition's.

                        Amen to that, my property taxes are over $10000 a year, 30% go to township and county 70% to school district.

                        and since they spend 9000 + per student per year mine does,nt even cover 1 student.

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

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                          Bondi Junction
                          Australia
                          Member #57242
                          December 24, 2007
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                          Posted: January 11, 2013, 9:08 pm - IP Logged

                          The Massachusetts lottery allows people from outside the state to play, maybe that is why it raised so much revenue. There is a lesson there for other lotteries.

                          We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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                            Bondi Junction
                            Australia
                            Member #57242
                            December 24, 2007
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                            Posted: January 11, 2013, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

                            In Fiscal Year 2012, the Massachusetts State Lottery returned over $983 million in net profit to the Commonwealth, of which over $883.7 million in Direct Local Aid was distributed to the 351 cities and towns.

                            We all get a lot out of lotteries!