Lottery ticket sales down; movement away from cash may be to blame

Instant ticket sales are struggling; state may consider online games

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Instant lottery ticket sales are down, but the Massachusetts State Lottery is hoping to do something about it.

Instant ticket sales have fallen $29.8 million in Fiscal Year 2017, compared to the previous year. A big reason why overall revenues are down, is that people are carrying and using cash less than they used to.

“I don’t really carry cash I put everything on my debit card at the end of the day, whatever I have,” Sarah Chouinard of Chicopee said.

To try and attract a larger audience, Lottery Commission Executive Director Michael Sweeney says that they will have to make changes in the future, such as online games.  In order for that to happen, however, legislative approval would be required.

Many people told 22News playing the lottery online would be easier and would make them more inclined to buy tickets.

“I would totally buy a lottery ticket online because I use my credit card online and I do everything online like Facebook. I don’t carry cash very often so it’s definitely more convenient for somebody younger to do stuff like that online,” explains Megan Billett of Easthampton.

Technology is changing how people are paying for things, and the lottery thinks the future is in online gaming.  But many local lottery store owners told 22News they would be against that.

Tracy Dobosz, a manager at The Country Trading Post and Restaurant told 22News “It would definitely take away from our sales; obviously if people aren’t coming in they’re not getting other stuff as well.”

State lottery officials will be meeting with lawmakers next week at a public hearing.