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July 15, 2016

Senate authorizes online lottery

Courtesy Twitter The Massachusetts lottery generated more than $1B in 2021.

The Senate authorized the Lottery to expand into cyberspace as part of an economic development bill that passed Thursday night on a 39-1 vote.

The bill (S 2423) also subjects online vacation rentals, such as Airbnb, to hotel taxes, and creates a commission to study daily fantasy sports, such as DraftKings.

Senators differed strongly over whether to enable the Lottery to enter the online market before adopting Sen. Jennifer Flanagan's amendment on a 22-17 vote.

"This is just a convenience. We're keeping up with the modern times," said Sen. Don Humason, a Westfield Republican.

"We are preying on the lowest income people in our state," argued Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat.

The Senate avoided making changes to the law governing the relationship between brewers and beer distributors, opting instead for a commission to study that issue.

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