Massachusetts Puts Sports Betting on the Backburner
Sorry, New England sports fans. It looks like it might be a little while longer before sports betting is legal in Massachusetts.
House vs Senate
Despite the fact that the House approved a bill regarding sports betting back in July, it doesn’t seem like the Massachusetts Senate is in any rush to make any additional legislative headway, even in the midst of the NFL season and at the beginning of the MLB playoffs.
Karen Spilka, the president of the Massachusetts Senate, talked a little bit about the chances that the Senate will aim to legalize sports betting in the near future. She said that the Senate Ways and Means Committee is currently examining the issue.
Even though more and more states are legalizing sports betting and reaping the financial benefits astronomically quickly, Spilka said that she doesn’t think there is a need for more state revenue at this current time.
Issues other than Sports Betting
Spilka went on to say that there are five major issues that currently take precedence over legalizing Massachusetts sports betting this year, and those issues are spending funds from American Rescue Plan Act, a supplemental budget to wrap up fiscal 2021, election reforms, mental/behavioral health parity, and political redistricting.
“We have to do redistricting, we have to close out the books and do a supp budget, we need to do a more permanent VOTES act, our temporary [provisions] end in December,” she said, “Some of it will depend upon bandwidth and how it stands.”
This is kind of a weird position for a government official to take, especially since to them there is no such thing as enough money. Anyone would think that the state government would jump at the chance to generate some more revenue. Sports betting is a pretty simple, easy, and quick way to earn a lot of money, so to me, it’s shocking that the Massachusetts Senate is not jumping at the chance.
Alternative Betting Options
Unfortunately for Massachusetts sports fans, it looks like that they will be forced to place bets legally in bordering states and in other alternative ways for a while longer. With the exception of Vermont, every single state that borders Massachusetts has already legalized sports betting, so at least fans have nearby, accessible options.
However, as more and more states take this legal step, it is surprising that Massachusetts is refusing to take the time to look into taking those steps themselves. It must be maddening for sports bettors and fans in this area, as interest in sports betting expands and widens its reaches across the country
Although the Massachusetts Senate has made it clear that legalizing sports betting is not a priority for them, maybe it should be. It brings in tons of revenue for the state extremely quickly, and this fall/winter would be a great time to launch sportsbooks in Massachusetts.
Despite the rapidly growing demand for legal sports betting across the country, it looks like sports fans in Massachusetts will have to wait a little longer before they can legally and easily place bets in their state on their home teams. And that has to be frustrating.