Massachusetts Lottery Exploring Daily Fantasy Sports Options

Wednesday November 4th 2015

Lottery players in the Bay State might find themselves with a wealth of new games in the near future as the Massachusetts Lottery considers adding daily fantasy sports to their arsenal.

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Michael Sweeney, who was appointed as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lottery earlier this week, is keen to get involved with a potentially huge source of income for the state’s coffers. In a presentation, he argued that promoting daily fantasy sports through the state lottery would also attract attention from younger players, keeping interest high. The Boston Herald quoted Sweeney as saying, “By engaging a next-generation player the Lottery will be creating a new revenue source as opposed to eroding existing offerings.”

Sweeney further argued that the rapid growth of sites like DraftKings and FanDuel had inspired him to look at lottery offerings in a new light. He was quoted by local radio station WBUR as saying, “they’ve hit upon an innovative technology to offer a new game, and I just think it’s time for the Lottery to take a serious look at that, and decide whether it’s the right opportunity for the Commonwealth.”

As the core group of lottery players grows older, new games in new formats need to be introduced to attract the attention of different demographics so that funds can continue to be raised for the communities located across the Commonwealth. Fantasy sports betting is a big business; Eilers Research estimates that the market is expected to hit $2 billion by 2020. Large amounts of money are currently spent on contest fees, with private companies claiming a chunk of the cash. In Massachusetts, that money could potentially be diverted to the good causes funded by the state’s lottery, filling in the gaps as sales of draw games decline.

Other Massachusetts Lottery officials seem just as excited about the prospect of an in-state daily fantasy sports offering. Lottery Treasurer Deborah Goldberg believes that the lottery could not only compete with major sites, but could do so without harming the retailers who sell regular Massachusetts Lottery tickets. “As we look at what slice of this we might be able to consider,” she said, “I think one of the things we have to do is tie in our retailers to whatever it is we end up doing.”

Gaining approval for daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts could take some time, after which lottery officials would need to create an offering that could compete with already existing fantasy betting sites while respecting already established retailers. In the meantime, Massachusetts Lottery players can still have fun while buying tickets for draw games such as Mass Cash, Megabucks Doubler, Mega Millions and Powerball.

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