BOSTON — As the commission looking into online gaming and online gambling presses ahead in its study of ways to regulate and possibly make money from the developing industries, the Massachusetts Lottery is concerned that it could be left behind.
The Lottery is seeking authority from the Legislature to offer its current products — scratch tickets, draw games, Keno and more — to customers over the internet, arguing that its survival and the hundreds of millions of dollars it returns as local aid are otherwise at risk.
Meanwhile, a special commission formed by the Legislature is looking into legalizing and regulating fantasy sports, eSports and non-Lottery online gaming, and has been tasked with making recommendations for legislation by July 31.
The two interests collided Tuesday: the Lottery Commission met at 10:30 a.m., and commissioners and staff noted that the Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports had scheduled a hearing for 11 a.m.
After the monthly Lottery sales report, discussion among the commissioners turned briefly to the possibility that Massachusetts could begin to allow online gambling. Keying off media appearances by Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg raised concerns about that possibility.
“It’s interesting. You’re hearing about the Gaming Commission saying they want online gambling, and then the comment that I read in the paper was that there are only so many entertainment dollars,” Goldberg said.