Lottery officials in Massachusetts have reportedly expressed concerns over New Hampshire’s recent legalization of keno along with the neighboring state’s plan to begin selling its own gambling products online.
According to a report from the MassLive.com news domain, New Hampshire legislators signed off on the legalization of keno in June while the small eastern state plans to begin selling lottery games online from as soon as February.
“New Hampshire being more aggressive and receiving more empowerment from the state legislature will have an impact on us,” Michael Sweeney, Executive Director for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, reportedly told those attending the regulator’s most recent meeting in Boston on Tuesday.
Sweeney reportedly explained that New Hampshire residents constitute an important market for the Massachusetts State Lottery as they often cross into “The Bay State” in order to purchase tickets. He additionally declared that he expects the New Hampshire Lottery to highlight its lack of a state income tax, which means that keno players would get to keep 5.1% more of their winnings than in Massachusetts.
“This is going to be another business pressure that negatively impacts our net sales and our revenues,” Sweeney reportedly told those assembled.
Thomas Shack, Massachusetts Comptroller and a member of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, reportedly advised MassLive.com that New Hampshire’s legalization of keno, which is also permitted in Connecticut, and coming foray into online gambling could be potentially devastating for the Massachusetts State Lottery. He allegedly likened the moves to “troops on the borders of Massachusetts” and is moreover said to be wary of potential competition from the world of online daily fantasy sports.
“I hope the legislature is listening,” Shack reportedly told reporters after the meeting. “Connecticut and New Hampshire are ahead of us and now we will need to play catch-up when we get that authority from the legislature.”
MassLive.com reported that the Massachusetts State Lottery has long lobbied, with little success, for lawmakers to sign off on allowing it to sell its products online. Going further, Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who serves as Chairperson for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, purportedly told those assembled that the legalization of keno could lead to a significant upturn in lottery profits.
“We’re sitting here, like dead ducks, I feel like,” Goldberg reportedly told those at the meeting.