CT Lottery taps MA film tax credit
Bonehead move, or smart money-saving strategy?
LEAF THROUGH THE LIST of recipients of Massachusetts film tax credits and one name comes up year after year: the Connecticut Lottery.
One might think the lottery, created by the state of Connecticut, would want to do business as much as possible with companies in Connecticut. In a way, that’s the whole point of the lottery, to recycle gambling losses through the local economy.
On the other hand, it makes sense for a state agency to seek out the biggest bang for the buck. By shooting commercials in Massachusetts, the Connecticut Lottery can take advantage of the Massachusetts film tax credit, an economic development tool that entices film, TV, and advertising companies to shoot their projects in the Bay State in return for a tax credit that can be converted into cash equal to nearly a quarter of the production’s cost.
It isn’t huge money in the case of the Connecticut Lottery. Massachusetts awarded $51,886 in tax credits to the lottery for the production of a commercial in 2016, and a total of $204,000 in tax credits over the last five years.
A spokesman for the Connecticut Lottery said the agency tries to film commercials as much as it can in Connecticut, but declined to provide any explanation for why some of the advertising is being produced in Massachusetts. He referred questions to the lottery’s ad agency, Fuseideas, which is headquartered in Winchester, Massachusetts, and recently opened a Hartford office. The lottery’s contact person at Fuseideas did not return phone calls.The Fuseideas website features some ads they did for the Connecticut Lottery, including one called Win for Life, which is about a lottery winner who goes around quietly handing out big tips to waiters. “Imagine what you could do,” said the ad’s voiceover at the end.
The Fuseideas website portrays the company as forward thinking. “We never accept the usual way of doing things,” the website says. “Everyone that works here is 100 percent committed to breaking the mold, avoiding the ordinary, and reinventing the game. Because that’s what it takes to compete and win in today’s marketplace. That’s what it takes to CRUSH THE QUO.”