Massachusetts Lottery Pushes for Online Sales to Compete with Sports Betting

Online sports betting wagers came in just over $530 million, the lowest monthly total wagered online in Massachusetts since September 2023

Apr 1, 2024 • 18:38 ET • 4 min read
Massaschusettes Minutewomen WNCAAB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Massachusetts State Lottery officials want an online sales option to level the playing field with its sports betting competitors.

Just a little more than a year ago, legalized online sports betting debuted in Massachusetts. Even then, Massachusetts Lottery officials warned that the online betting offering could erode the lottery’s retail-only sales. 

At the time, Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery Mark William Bracken said, “We’re the last gambling hold-out, basically, to be able to go online,” Bracken said. “Someone who’s able to sit there and play sports betting in the comfort of their home — that’s a major concern for us, where a lottery player is not going to be able to do the exact same.”

Bracken’s concerns continued to mount after DraftKings’ recent acquisition of Jackpocket, a leading lottery app. Bracken noted, “I’m now going to have an online sports wagering vendor that’s going to be able to facilitate the carrying of my tickets.”

Bracken’s most recent concerns – aired during the Lottery Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday – stem from the lottery’s lackluster February 2024 performance. February’s $478.3 million in sales was 6.8% lower than February 2023. Scratch-off ticket sales, which account for roughly 65% of the Bay State’s lottery sales, were lower by $41.1 million.

It would be hard to say, however, that online sports betting was the culprit. Last month was a disappointment for Massachusetts online sports betting providers. Online sports betting wagers came in just over $530 million, the lowest monthly total wagered online in Massachusetts since September 2023. 

Also, Massachusetts’s lottery is coming off a record-breaking year. Massachusetts State Lottery produced $1.193 billion in net profit during the 2023 fiscal year that began July 1, 2022 and ended June 30, 2023 -- the highest net profit total in its history. So, they set a pretty high bar to clear. 

Still, Bracken has a point. The gambling landscape has changed since Miss Massachusetts helped conduct the state’s first lottery drawing back in 1972. And it may be unrealistic to tether the lottery to a 50-year-old sales model.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo