Debate around sports betting still causing trouble at the State House

Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – The sports betting bill has stalled in the Ways and Means committee at the statehouse. Lawmakers in the House already passed a version of the bill and now they’re waiting on members of the Senate to do the same.

For years now, lawmakers have been trying to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts. They have considered several different proposals including one that would allow people to bet on their favorite sports teams using apps like Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Other sports betting bills would only allow the practice to take place at physical locations like MGM or local sports bars.

Longmeadow State Senator Eric Lesser has filed a bill this session that would combine the two, “My bill would create both an ability to create both an ability to bet in person at a brick-and-mortar casino or at a horse track but also would allow the phone based betting, which has exploded in popularity,” Sen. Lesser said.

Lawmakers are hoping the sports betting bill has enough momentum to get over the finish line this session but the debate around ARPA funding, voting rights and redistricting has taken priority.

Each year that Massachusetts fails to legalize sports betting the state misses out on roughly 20 million dollars in revenue. Right now, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York all offer legalized sports betting.

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