Massachusetts Set to Push for Legal Sports Betting During Budget Amendment Discussions
Massachusetts Budget Amendment Discussions: Sports betting is beginning to gain traction in the northeastern portion of the United States. New Hampshire and Rhode Island offer legal sports betting, and Connecticut will follow in the future. Massachusetts is inching closer to a wagering bill, and more details will begin to unravel on May 24th.
The Massachusetts legislature will begin its budget amendment discussions on May 24th. There are many senators with the goal of getting legal sports betting on the docket.
The Goal for the Budget Amendment Discussions
Multiple senators in Massachusetts want to enact sports betting in the state. MA was quick to legalize marijuana, but the same trajectory has not followed for gaming. There are close to 1,000 amendments that will be proposed for the 2022 budget, and many legislators have the desire to add sports betting to the group.
The 2022 Massachusetts budget is $47.6 billion, and sports betting could be a great solution to cover a portion of the financial plan.
Support for Sports Betting
The legalization process for sports betting is challenging for most legislatures. The positive news for MA is that people inside and outside of the government support the form of gambling.
Massachusetts media have revealed that more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties have filed bills to introduce sports betting in the state. Additionally, Governor Charlie Baker has supported sports betting legislation in the past.
Baker included $35 million in sports betting revenue on his January budget proposal, but it was removed. Sports betting foes removed gaming from the Massachusetts economic development bill. This shows that there is still a group opposed to wagering, but the momentum is beginning to swing towards the gaming industry.
Sports betting support started to grow in the summer of 2020 when Senate minority leader Bruce Tarr submitted a budget amendment to legalize gambling on sports in MA. The House of Representatives favored the bill as a portion of its economic development bill and sent it back to the Senate.
Although, the Senate rejected the amendment without allowing a vote. Will the budget amendment discussions provide a different fate for sports betting?
What Has Changed Since the Summer of 2020?
There is no denying that sports betting is starting to become customary in the United States. Nearly half of the country has legalized some form of sports betting. There are still doubts amongst senators in MA that there will be enough support to push sports wagering.
Nevertheless, the momentum has begun to change in The Bay State. A coalition of casinos, professional sports teams, and mobile wagering platforms have joined forces to lobby for legal betting in Massachusetts.
These groups are very strong together because of the financial resources they can use to push sports betting through the Massachusetts government. Every major professional sports league is represented in the state.
Additionally, DraftKings, one of the largest betting and DFS providers in the United States, is headquartered in Boston. DraftKings has exclusive provider rights for New Hampshire, so the company is influential in the region.
This powerful coalition could be the deciding factor for Massachusetts legal sports wagering. USA Wager will continue to provide updates on the budget amendment discussions in MA.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.