Sports betting still illegal in Massachusetts as Super Bowl Sunday nears

Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is acknowledging his administration failed to make progress towards legalizing sports betting in the state.

This time last year, Gov. Baker filed a bill to legalize sports wagering in Massachusetts, but since then no action has been taken. Baker filed legislation last January to allow both licensed casinos in Massachusetts and online platforms like DraftKings to build their own sports betting operations.

The AGA estimates that Americans will wager $6.8 billion on the Super Bowl this Sunday, money that the state will miss out on.

“If it’s available other places that means that’s revenue that’s going to be going other places. So although I wouldn’t gamble myself as a personal decision, certainly I would rather see that revenue remain here in the state,” said Gary Montroe of Norwood.

More than a year and a half ago, the Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports wagering. Since then, 14 states now offer legal sports betting, including Rhode Island and New Hampshire putting pressure on Massachusetts to pass legislation. And not only do gamblers want to see this happen, small businesses do too.

“The most important thing for me is that it just gets done correctly,” Bill Stetson, owner of Rumbleseat Bar & Grille told 22News. “We don’t forget about the 14,000 keno operators in the state that are partners with the state.”

Although nothing is final yet, Governor Baker wrote $35 million in sports betting revenues into the $44.6 billion fiscal 2021 budget.

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