Massachusetts Lottery May Soon Offer DFS

Posted on: January 5, 2016, 09:05h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2016, 09:05h.

Massachusetts Lottery to adopt DFS
Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, who has drawn up a framework for the regulation of DFS in the Bay State. (Image:

The Massachusetts Lottery Commission is proposing sweeping modernization, and has formally stated its intent to adopt online ticket sales, as well as offering its own daily fantasy sports and social gaming products.

Massachusetts has been making noises about adopting a comprehensive online gaming package for some time, as it seeks to complement its emergent land-based casino industry and successful lottery product with a more up-to-date and competitive online offering.

While Internet casino gaming and poker would require a huge legislative upheaval, DFS and social gaming would not (at least in the Bay State), and it’s clear that Massachusetts is intent on creating its own fantasy sports product as a way appealing to the younger generation that eschews traditional draws, scratch cards and keno in favor of newer, mobile-friendly trends.

Formal Invitation

As such, the state has launched a formal request for information (RFI), inviting companies to submit “proposals for the development, implementation, operational support, and maintenance of a Massachusetts Lottery iLottery System,” read an official statement.

This would include “the development and integration of digital versions of existing and new lottery games, including but not limited to social gaming and daily fantasy sports options.”

Of particular interest to the Lottery Commission are player registration and authentication protocols, as well as best practices for responsible gaming controls.

The commission also states that it is looking for ways of integrating lottery ticket retailers in order to protect the 7,500-odd small businesses that rely on lottery sales commissions.

Homegrown Product

“We believe the introduction of a fantasy sports platform at Massachusetts Lottery would help to embrace an emerging market while continuing to protect our retail partners,” Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney told the News Service recently.

“This particular type of game would not cannibalize our existing products. It would obviously be a new product. It would help us to engage what we would refer to as a ‘next-generation’ player and hopefully it would also help Lottery to create a new revenue source as opposed to eroding or maintaining existing offers.”

Across the border in New York State, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been railing against the “fraudulent” nature of the DFS industry, but Massachusetts’ AG Maura Healey has declared that there are no federal or state laws that preclude such sites from operating.

Healy has proposed full regulation of DFS, drawing up protocols to protect consumers, and has said that state residents who play DFS should “not be concerned” that they are breaking the law.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with embracing a little local innovation, and DraftKings, born and bred in Boston, is perhaps benefitting from being a homegrown success story.