Overview of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission.

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The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission (MSLC) was established in 1971 under Section 24 of Chapter 10 of the Massachusetts General Laws. According to its website, its mission is as follows:

To operate in a manner that secures the integrity of the Lottery’s games and protects the well-being of its customers while maximizing revenues returned to the Commonwealth for the benefit of its cities and towns.

MSLC is governed by five commissioners: the State Treasurer, who is its chair; the Secretary of Public Safety; the Comptroller of the Commonwealth; and two people appointed by the Governor for terms that are coterminous with the Governor’s. The State Treasurer appoints MSLC’s director, subject to the Governor’s approval. No less than 45% of MSLC’s revenue is paid to holders of winning tickets, no more than 15% may be used for operating costs, and the balance is distributed to the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

MSLC has six offices: its headquarters at 150 Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester and regional offices in Braintree, New Bedford, West Springfield, Woburn, and Worcester. MSLC also maintains data centers in Norwell and Chelsea.

During our audit period, MSLC had 375 active employees. In fiscal year 2019, MSLC generated revenue of $5.509 billion and returned $1.104 billion in net profit to the Commonwealth to support its 351 cities and towns.

Lottery Sales Agent Background Reviews

New lottery sales agents are subject to criminal and financial background reviews. All active lottery sales agents are subject to criminal background reviews every four years. Section 2.08(2)(b) of Title 961 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations states,

No applicant shall be granted a license as a Sales Agent if the applicant or any employee of the applicant who holds a position of substantial authority in the applicant's business or at any location to be licensed has at any time been convicted of a felony or any violation of M.G.L. c. 271 or of any other anti-gambling statute or law relating to the taxation of gambling or the proceeds thereof unless the Director in his/her discretion decides otherwise.

Terminated Lottery Sales Agents

When a lottery sales agent is terminated, a lottery sales representative (LSR) is required to travel to the agent’s location to perform a final settlement of the agent’s inventory of tickets, revenue, supplies, and equipment. At the agent’s location, the LSR scans all available instant ticket game books (books of scratch tickets) and generates an Instant Ticket Game Book Return Report of all returned instant ticket game books. The LSR and the agent review the report and agree to the inventory of instant ticket game books by signing off. The LSR generates an Inventory Movement Report from MSLC’s computer system to ensure that the agent’s instant ticket game books have been deactivated. The agent and the LSR sign a Final Settlement Report to ensure that all of the agent’s accounts have been recorded and reconciled.

The LSR returns all of the terminated lottery sales agent’s full and partial instant ticket game books to an MSLC regional office for reconciliation, destruction of partial game books, and return of full game books to MSLC’s inventory.

Prize Claim Verification

MSLC’s Internal Audit Department conducts an annual review to ensure that no employee or employee’s immediate family member claims a lottery prize, in accordance with Section 31 of Chapter 10 of the General Laws:

No ticket or share shall be purchased by, and no prize shall be paid to any of the following persons: any member or employee of the commission or to any spouse, child, brother, sister, or parent residing as a member of the same household in the principal place of abode of any member or employee of the commission.

MSLC’s Internal Audit Department annually obtains a list of all MSLC employees and their home addresses from the Commonwealth Information Warehouse1 and compares this information to prize claim information.

MSLC’s “Standard Claims Procedure” states that when claiming a prize, claimants must present the following documents to a customer service representative (CSR) at an MSLC regional office:

  • a completed and signed claim form
  • a signed original ticket (instant or draw)
  • proof of identification, such as a government-issued photo identification
  • proof of Social Security number.

The CSR ensures that the information on the claim form agrees with the documentation presented by the claimant. After receiving and verifying the claimant’s information, the CSR validates the winning ticket and manually enters information from the claim form (the claimant’s Social Security number, first name, middle initial if provided, last name, ZIP code, and town) in the Enterprise Series system.2 Then the CSR issues a check to the claimant and asks the claimant to confirm all the information on the claim form before leaving the MSLC regional office.

1.     According to the website of the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth, CIW “brings together a subset of the Commonwealth’s financial, budgetary, human resources, payroll and time reporting data. It serves as the central data repository for the diverse reporting needs of users and agencies across the Commonwealth.”

2.     This is a new computer system to which MSLC switched in April 2019. It provides MSLC with historical data storage, analysis, and reporting.

Date published: June 9, 2021

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