Sunday January 3,2016 : MASSACHUSETTS KICKS OFF 2016 ONLINE GAMBLING INITIATIVES
A fast start to the new year…
The Massachusetts state lottery has wasted no time getting its online gambling plans into gear, issuing a request for information from interested companies Tuesday.
The public notification invites organisations to "…submit proposals for the development, implementation, operational support, and maintenance of a Massachusetts Lottery iLottery System … and the development and integration of digital versions of existing and new interactive lottery games, including but not limited to social gaming and daily fantasy sports options."
In another passage, the lottery advisory reveals that it is also interested in "…gaming systems that allow for cross-pollination between online applications and physical retailer space and any other progressive gaming opportunities that may be available."
Lottery management wants to know how player account registration, management and authentication would work, along with how a web-based wagering and payment system would operate.
The request for information is also looking for input on responsible gaming controls and how to integrate its convenience store ticket retailers, observing that it does not wish to harm the approximately 7,500 small businesses that rely on Lottery sales commissions and Lottery-based foot traffic.
Massachusetts Lottery developed an interest in DFS last year, discussing the possibility of offering its own DFS product.
Last November lottery executive director Michael Sweeney opined in a newspaper interview that the introduction of the genre would enable the lottery to engage in an important emerging market, asserting that such a move would not cannibalise existing products, but would enable the lottery to access what he called "next generation" players in an attempt to generate new sources of revenue (see previous InfoPowa report).
Sweeney's idea has been backed by state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who has flagged the issue for lawmakers, commenting that high lottery sales should be maintained by innovative thinking in new areas such as daily fantasy sports contests.
These, she said, would attract a younger audience adept at using mobile devices, and in particular the 25-to-45-year-old male demographic, whom she describes as “…not Lottery players who are extremely excited by sports-related fantasies."
The lottery depends heavily on scratch card tickets and keno for revenues – over the past fiscal year these products accounted for 87 percent of lottery sales.