Massachusetts to Hold Hearing on Thursday Addressing Sports Betting Bills
Massachusetts Addressing Sports Betting Bills: The northeast portion of the United States is becoming a factor in the national sports betting market. Connecticut recently legalized wagering pending federal approval. Connecticut will join New Hampshire and Rhode Island as states that offer sports wagering.
This puts Massachusetts in a predicament because all these states border the commonwealth. The surging wagering market in the region will cause Massachusetts to lose money if the legislature cannot produce a betting bill.
On Thursday, the state legislature will hold a hearing to address the current sports betting bills that have been proposed. It’s apparent that many legislators in MA want to pass a bill, but there is no guarantee that this will occur in the state.
Massachusetts Hearing to Discuss Sports Betting Bills
On Thursday, June 17, the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies will discuss the sports betting bills in the legislature. This hearing will determine if the bills should be passed along to the next stage of the legislative process.
Legal wagering has gained a substantial amount of momentum in 2021 after sports returned following the COVID-19 lockdowns. This has made more states receptive to the idea of wagering because of the massive tax revenue that comes from the industry.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has been eager to sign a sports betting bill, but the legislature has not delivered. He included sports betting in his annual budget for 2022, anticipating that the market will generate $30 million for the state.
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There is no doubt Baker will sign sports wagering into law, but he needs the legislature to deliver. The fate of sports betting is unknown in Massachusetts. The COVID-19 pandemic may help sway legislators into passing a betting bill.
In 2019, Massachusetts sports betting passed in the House of Representatives, but it stalled in the Senate. The Senate will be the main issue for legal wagering in Massachusetts.
Baker believes that his support for sports betting will help his fellow government officials find a way to pass a bill in the commonwealth. Nevertheless, the decision is entirely out of Baker’s hands.
Best Shot Yet?
The 2021 legislative session is the best chance for sports betting since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was repealed in 2018. Money is the main factor in all decisions, and sports betting would be a massive success throughout the state.
Boston, one of the largest media markets in the world, is home to three professional sports teams. The Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox play directly in the city. Massachusetts is also home to the New England Patriots of the NFL. The team competes in Foxborough, which is 30 miles outside the city.
If Massachusetts delivers with its current sports betting bills, the professional franchises will be able to construct on-site retail sportsbooks. It’s unknown if mobile betting will be allowed throughout the state, but Baker’s budget gives hope that the legislature will allow internet wagering.
The intentions of the legislature will become clearer following Thursday’s hearing.
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_.