Massachusetts State Lottery

Lottery Sales Continue to Plummet in Massachusetts

Scratch tickets and daily game sales hit just over $111 million the week ending March 7, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery

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Lottery sales in Massachusetts continue to plummet amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Including Keno, scratch tickets and daily game sales hit just over $111 million the week ending March 7, just before the state's stay-at-home order, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery.

Six weeks later, sales were down to just short of $75 million, lottery officials said.

The lottery commission said net profit is down almost $6 million from last year which means less money for cities and towns across the state.

Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn is among the communities that received $12 million in aid last year.

"With the projections of what it may be… 10 to 20% possible loss in revenue just from lottery and local aid… it's very concerning," Lungo-Koehn said Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg urged lawmakers to bring the state lottery online, pointing to a drop in sales due to the coronavirus.

"This pandemic has dramatically exposed the limitations and vulnerabilities of the lottery’s all-cash, in-person business model," Goldberg said.

The potential solution could be tough for convenience store owners who are already facing a ban on sales of vaping products and menthol cigarettes. The cost of taking credit and debit cards would also impact store profits from lottery sales.

"If the lottery goes online how do people pay for that," asked Jonathan Shaer of the New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association. "Debit cards, credit cards naturally. That isn't something that convenience stores or any lottery agent allow for now."

Due to the pandemic, all lottery claims centers are closed to the public but claim forms are available on their website.

Lottery officials have also extended the claims period for instant tickets, draw game tickets and monitor game tickets with expiration dates beginning March 19 to June 29. The expiration date for those tickets is June 30.

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