oldberg this week floated the idea of a Lottery-run fantasy sports game to attract a younger audience that favors playing on mobile devices, particularly 25-to-45-year-old men “who are not lottery players, who are extremely excited by sports-related fantasies.”
“We must join the 21st century if this business is going to continue to thrive and meet its mission,” Goldberg said, announcing her plans to file an online lottery bill by Nov. 2. “The internet has proved to be a lucrative and beneficial business platform. Just look at the daily fantasy sports boom.”
While Goldberg expressed interest in fantasy sports, her office would not confirm if her pending bill will include fantasy sports games. But the Lottery is currently rifling through responses to a December request for information about online gaming, including daily fantasy sports, and has named fantasy sports games “the biggest current challenge facing the Lottery.”
A similar measure to OK online sales for the Massachusetts Lottery — and permit the Lottery to get into daily fantasy sports — failed last session in the House.
Gaming experts said the Lottery could have a tough time launching a product to that would compete with DraftKings or FanDuel.
Chris Grove, gambling analyst with Narus Advisors, told the Herald the Lottery’s main products are very different from the peer-to-peer daily fantasy sports systems, and there are questions about whether the fantasy sports business models can even be profitable.
“Does this product make sense for the Lottery?” Grove said. “It’s difficult to get a resounding ‘yes’ to that question.”
Instead, the Lottery could offer a “fantasy-like game, a simplified version of fantasy sports and that might help to ease concerns about questions of whether it is in the wheel house and profitable,” Grove said.
Daniel Wallach, sports and gaming legal expert with the firm Becker and Poliakoff, said success for the Lottery lies in besting DraftKings and FanDuel, “which pretty much have that market locked up,” and navigating around federal law that bans state-sponsored sports betting.
Wallach said the proposal would meet stiff opposition from lottery retailers, casinos and existing daily sports companies, who lobbied fiercely to operate in Massachusetts. DraftKings and FanDuel did not respond to requests for comment.
Herald wire services contributed to