STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
GOV. MAURA HEALEY is on board with the House’s push to legalize online Massachusetts Lottery sales, a stance that could ramp up pressure on the Senate to approve another gambling expansion shortly after sports betting launched.
Saying that her answer might leave host Jim Braude “shocked,” Gov. Maura Healey told GBH’s “Boston Public Radio” on Friday that she supports the proposed move to an online Lottery system. She described the rollout of state-run games onto digital platforms as a way to put them on more even footing with sports wagering now available both in-person and on a slew of mobile apps.
“We have casinos in the state. We also have DraftKings here in the state, and a lot of money is being spent there by a lot of people. What we also have is a lottery system that right now isn’t able to compete against a DraftKings,” Healey said. “Nothing against DraftKings, but the Lottery, that’s money coming back to cities and towns. The money spent on DraftKings is going to DraftKings.”
The House’s fiscal year 2024 budget unveiled Wednesday would launch an online “iLottery,” which top Democrats say would generate $200 million in revenue toward early education and child care stabilization grants.
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has been seeking authorization to sell Lottery products online for years. The House approved a similar change in an economic development bill last year, but the measure did not survive negotiations with the Senate, whose leaders have at times been hesitant to take up gambling legislation.
“I say this as somebody who was really skeptical about the whole thing, but I think it’s important for us to catch up there and meet people where they are,” Healey said Friday. “That’s why I support the treasurer.”