Public Session: Online Products Task Force 

 An Invitation

Treasurer Steven Grossman invites you to join him and the Online Products Task Force in advancing an important conversation on the future of the Massachusetts Lottery and gaming in the Internet age. The Treasurer created an Online Products Task Force “to gain a comprehensive, strategic assessment of the current landscape of online lottery products and play throughout the country and its short- and long-term fiscal and societal implications for Massachusetts.”  That Task Force has scheduled a public session for:
 

May 30, 2012
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor, Boston, MA

Please direct any questions to:  TaskForce@masslottery.com
 

The audience will have an opportunity to hear from the Treasurer, members of the Online Products Task Force and its consultant, Spectrum Gaming Group, regarding initial findings. Members of the public, including interested stakeholders, are encouraged to attend and share their positions and questions. 

Background

As the lottery/gaming industry continues to evolve in Massachusetts, across the nation and worldwide, it has become clear that we must assess how best to position Massachusetts and its fiscal resources for the possible onset of online lottery products. The impact of the Internet on the way we conduct business and engage with each other is undeniable.  The Internet serves as a major outlet for leisure activity and, at present, a fertile environment for lottery/gaming business already measured in the billions of dollars around the globe.  The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission is a $4.5-billion business that this year will generate over $947 million in profit, which is directed to our communities. The Lottery is the single largest source of unrestricted local aid for the Commonwealth's cities and towns.  As a national industry leader in sales and innovation, the Lottery is well positioned to advance any opportunity presented by online lottery products if so directed. 

Yet any such expansion of the Lottery’s business must be accompanied by careful planning to protect the Lottery’s current assets and potential for growth, and, most importantly, by a regulated environment that safeguards our citizens and their interests.  The Lottery credits much of its success on a highly effective marketing system through its 7,400 sales agents stretched across the Commonwealth.  Those businesses earn on average approximately $37,000 in annual commissions, and recognize that lottery sales drive ancillary sales.  Massachusetts also has recently authorized the licensing of up to three “brick and mortar” casinos – another source of revenue and job creation. Any discussion regarding the introduction of Internet play, therefore, must include careful assessment of the impact on the Lottery’s current business, consumers and agents and on the nascent casino industry, and related human and social costs.
 

A second public session will be held on June 28th from 5-7 p.m. in Western Massachusetts .