The Boston Globe reported today that the Massachusetts state lottery might be heading to the Internet. According to reports Sate Treasures Steve Grossman has plans to set up a special task force to check the possibility of legalizing online lottery sales. This of course is in light of the new stance of the DoJ regarding the Wire Act which would enable states to sell to their own residents.

Grossman stated the new stance on the Wire Act is “A surprise that accelerates the urgency of dealing with online lottery sales, and online casino gambling in general.” The proposed task force will be made up of about 20 members that include representatives from the state treasurer’s office, private citizens, elected officials and members of the Massachusetts Lottery.

The state has already started looking for experts in the file in order to start research on the potential ramifications. Grossman already has plans to meet with the task members in the coming weeks.

Massachusetts has already signed a law in November 2011 which allows for the building of three full scale casinos and one slot machine parlor in Massachusetts. Lottery tickets will also soon be allowed to be purchase with debit cards as well as cash.

Opponents of the expanded online casino gambling in Massachusetts like Tom Larkin, President of the antigambling group United to Stop Slots Massachusetts believes that there proposed changes could have negative consequences in many fields, “More Internet gambling will simply siphon more and more money out of the economy and create more individual debt, suicides, alcoholism, and mental health problems.”

Grossman assured the opponents of expanded gambling that  the concerns of opponents to the new laws will be a crucial part of the task force,” “The social impact of online gambling will be a major concern of the task force,”Grossman pointed out that a key issue for the task force is to investigate the possible impact of online casino gambling on the 7,500 retailers who s ell lottery related products. It is estimated that each lottery agent can earn up to $37,000 a year on lottery commissions.

Grossman believes that it is essential for Massachusetts to adopt an approach which will ensure that the state does not lose revenue to other states which do embrace online casino gambling.

Grossman summed up the situation brilliantly,”This is a fast-moving, highly competitive market, “and this opinion only accelerates this moment of change.”

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