GROSSMAN CALLS ON SENATORS TO WITHDRAW FEDERAL LEGISLATION
THAT WOULD COMPROMISE MASS LOTTERY AND GAMING REVENUE
Calling it an “unwarranted and unjustified usurpation of authority [that] will be harmful to the interests of the people of Massachusetts,” Treasurer Steven Grossman today issued a letter to U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) in which he strongly objected to their proposed legislation that would put severe limitations on states to control online gaming within their borders and would imperil the Massachusetts Lottery. Grossman, who chairs the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, said the senators’ proposal would threaten the profits of the Lottery, which is the largest source of unrestricted aid to the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns, and warned that the measure would compromise the competitiveness of the ongoing process to bid on casino licenses in Massachusetts
The proposed legislation, Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2012, effectively limits gaming industry participation in the online gaming marketplace to operations with a presence in Nevada and severely limits the ability of state lotteries to sell their products online. Earlier this year, Grossman convened an Online Products Task Force to study the impacts of the potential introduction of online lottery sales in Massachusetts. The panel has reached no conclusion, but Grossman has stressed that protecting the interests of the 7,400 businesses that sell lottery products and the revenue that flows to cities and towns is paramount to the Task Force’s efforts. Federal restraints could have a significant impact on both.
In addition, because only Nevada-based operations would have access to the online market, the legislation would create a competitive disadvantage for non-Nevada-based gaming interests bidding on the casino and slot parlor licenses authorized in Massachusetts earlier this year. Grossman said that such a limitation on competition would compromise millions of dollars in gaming revenue that will be generated by these licenses.
A copy of Grossman’s letter to the Senators is attached .