Sports betting is once again being discussed in the state of Massachusetts, and there is hope that eventually, this industry will become legal. There was a hearing set for Thursday, and close to 20 different sports betting bills were set to be discussed.
Public support for sports betting is there, according to a poll that was recently commissioned by the Encore Boston Harbor. Now it’s simply up to lawmakers in the state to come to an agreement and keep the discussion moving forward.
Each state in the US was given permission to come up with its own rules on sports betting in 2018, and Massachusetts has flirted with this idea for a few years. 2021 was supposed to be the year that this became legal, but time is quickly running out.
Governor Charlie Baker is a supporter of sports betting, and he even included revenue from the industry in his budget proposal in February. That was ultimately removed from the proposal after it became clear that work still needed to be done.
Compromise Is Needed
12 different lawmakers have submitted 19 total bills, and it is clear that some compromise is needed moving forward. Some of these bills will be removed from discussion quickly, but there are a number of key pieces that need to be agreed upon.
Governor Baker has introduced H70, and it simply calls for the legalization of sports betting. The other bills have a specific language for how the industry will be set up and where the potential tax revenue will go.
Two of the biggest decisions that need to be made come in terms of mobile betting and what to do about college sports. If Massachusetts is going to reach its full potential in the industry, then mobile betting will need to be authorized, as well as allowing betting on college sporting events.
New England Focusing on Sports Betting
If Massachusetts continues to delay the launch of sports betting, the state is in danger of falling even further behind some neighboring states. The New England region of the US has seen plenty of growth in this industry since 2018, but Massachusetts could close the gap in a hurry.
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have all legalized sports betting, but Massachusetts should emerge as a much bigger market. Currently, bettors from Massachusetts are crossing the border to play in these states.
New York, another neighboring state, also has sports betting and is set to launch mobile betting in the coming months.
Storied Franchises on Board
The state of Massachusetts is home to some storied professional sports franchises, including the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. Both of these teams have given their full support to legalizing sports betting, and they have even taken an additional step.
The New England Patriots have had a partnership with DraftKings for many years, as that sports betting operator is based in Boston. DraftKings could become a leader in the state of Massachusetts, with betting available at Gilette Stadium.
MGM has a deal in place with the Boston Red Sox, and the BetMGM sports betting app has become a major player in the sports betting industry.