West Springfield Town Council asking lawmakers to consider sports betting for small businesses

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Town councilors in West Springfield want small businesses with Keno and lottery licenses to be allowed to take sports bets, if sports gambling is legalized. Rather than restricting sports betting to large casino operations in Springfield and Boston.

This week, the West Springfield Town Council passed a resolution with full support of the mayor, asking that any legislation legalizing sports betting allow small businesses with lottery licenses to take bets.

West Springfield Mayor Reichelt told 22News, “So in West Springfield, it’s the small bars that have Keno, that should be able to, if sports betting is allowed, have it happen there at the same time it’s happening at other places like the casino.”

Reichelt said sports betting is already a booming businesses in the places and forums in which it’s legal, and could make a big impact on small businesses.

“Whether it be through Vegas and all the apps, fan duel and everything else, it’s definitely a revenue source and I think absolutely they could benefit. Make sure they take into account the small business owners across the state,” said Reichelt.

Governor Charlie Baker filed proposed sports betting legislation back in January, but that bill would only legalize placing bets online and at casinos. The state legislature held two days of hearings on proposed sports betting legislation back in May.

One convenience store owner in Springfield said letting small businesses in on the action could be a big win.

“It’s a great idea, we have Keno already. We could definitely take the action. We would probably expand and hire five more employees, which is good for the economy,” said P.J. Glantz of Buckeye Bros Smoke Shop.

Rhode Island is the first state in New England to legalize sports betting, making around $50,000 a month in its roughly first three months of operation.

It’s still unclear if and when state lawmakers will vote on sports betting legislation.

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