Massachusetts legislators Urged to Legalize Sports Betting
Stakeholders are pushing legislators to legalize Sports Betting in Massachusetts
A coalition made up of sportsbook operators, and professional teams have urged legislators to legalize sports betting in the Bay State. Operators and sporting bodies have come together to add their signatures in a letter, which has been sent to the Economic Development Conference Committee. According to those involved, this letter’s primary purpose is to push legislators to include sports betting in the bill.
The letter stated unhappiness that a lot of work has already gone into legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts. All that is left is for legislators to give the final go-ahead. The letter had six signatories, from influential people in the sports betting industry who are growing frustrated from the delay.
People from DraftKings, the Boston Red Sox, and the PGA Tour have all added their weight behind the movement to get sports betting off the ground in Massachusetts and hope to see some positive movement soon.
The Figures Behind MA Sports Betting
One of the biggest concerns of legislators is on tax revenue. The letter has addressed that issue and explains why legalization is the most sensible option. In the letter, information is provided, which estimates that $50 million in immediate revenue would be added to the FY2021 budget if sports betting becomes legal.
There was no mention in the letter of sports betting in neighboring states New Hampshire or Rhode Island. Both locations already offer mobile sports betting and registration. Massachusetts residents can easily venture over to either of those states to place bets legally on sporting events.
There is also information presented, via an Oxford Economics study, that approximately 1.4 million Massachusetts residents placed bets totaling $3.2 billion on sports illegally in the state, through offshore operators. The letter states that the best way to overcome the illegal betting industry “is to create a competitive, legal sports betting framework.”
The Path to Legalizing Sports Betting in Massachusetts
The Senate does not see the legalization of sports betting as an important issue right now. It is because the Senate has shown so little interest that has prompted this coalition to join forces and send a letter. Last week, an amendment that would have seen sports betting added to the 2021 fiscal budget failed. This follows the Senate rejecting similar amendments to include sports wagering over the summer.
Conversely, the House is taking a different stance to the Senate. It has shown interest in getting a legal sports betting industry up and running in MA as soon as possible. A vote to legalize sports betting in the House’s version of the economic development bill was overwhelmingly in favor, with the count ending 156-3. This bill would allow seven sports betting licenses. Three of these licenses would be given to the three casinos in the state, one to FanDuel and one to DraftKings. The others would be handed to other sportsbooks who want to operate in the state.
However, the president of the Senate, Karen Spilka, has stated that there is no timeframe or urgency on sports betting legalization. She said current priorities include resolving the budget, dealing with COVID-19 and conference committees.
Come and follow us over on Twitter @Gamble_usa for more legal sports betting news across the US.
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