Sports bettors in Massachusetts were optimistic about getting legalized sports betting up and running in the state after Sen. Eric Lesser announced in July 2021 that the Senate was ready to approve legalized betting. Well it looks like Massachusetts is not ready to approve sports betting anytime soon as the Senate is still divided about legalized betting in the state.
Lesser who is the co-chairman of the Economic Development Committee continues to paint a positive picture for legalized sports betting in Massachusetts. He said that his bill to legalize sports betting is still live and the Senate Ways and Means Committee are currently having a discussion about the bill.
Lesser said that there are a number of issues that needed to be addressed with the sports betting bill and only then could a consensus be reached. As of now, they are following due process and working with different members to address their concerns and move things forward.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston
Issues Of Concern
So far, the house has approved H.3977 in July with a 156-3 vote while Lesser’s bill S-269 has a few issues that need debating. Some of the issues that are currently being discussed and debated with regards to both bills include whether bettors should be able to bet using credit card or with their debit cards/bank accounts; whether betting should take place on collegiate sports; and whether mobile betting should be permitted.
Lesser is not a fan of collegiate betting and wants to make sure Massachusetts gets it right to protect game integrity and also bettors in the state. Gov. Charlie Baker is in favour of legalized sports betting and initially did not want betting on collegiate sports but has now changed his stance and is willing to accept collegiate sports betting.
Democratic State Representative Jerry Parisella said Massachusetts should accept a bill that legalizes collegiate sports bets as 31 states with legalized sports betting allowed some form of collegiate betting. Parisella said if Massachusetts went with an overtly strict sports betting regulation then it would encourage bettors to go out of state and wager in neighbouring states like Rhode Island, Connecticut or New Hampshire.
Gov. Baker is also concerned that Massachusetts is taking a little too long to legalize sports betting as the state is losing out on millions of dollars in revenue with each passing month. For now, sports bettors in Massachusetts will have to wait patiently to see how it all unfolds.