Fans hoping to see sports betting legalized in Massachusetts

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Legalized sports betting is back on the agenda for lawmakers on Beacon Hill. There’s a lot of sports fans from Pittsfield to Boston that are hoping to see sports betting finally become a legal practice here in Massachusetts.

A new poll released this week shows that 61 percent of Massachusetts voters want to be able to bet on their favorite sports teams and they want to be able to do it right from their phone as well as at locations like MGM Springfield.

For 3 years now, dozens of sports betting proposals have been filed at the Massachusetts State House but so far none of them have made it over the finish line. This session, when lawmakers were considering all their options to boost revenue, they put sports betting back on the table. A decision that sports fans all across the state are happy about.

Tony Choi of Boston told 22News, “It’s not like gambling where a lot of the odds are pretty fixed, you know. Sports betting at least you have some insight on it so I don’t think it’s really like a lot of the other gambling, I think the lottery is a lot worse.”

Members of the economic Development Committee took testimony from the public Thursday on over 20 bills related to sports betting. Many of the people who testified in front of the committee on Beacon Hill say the Commonwealth is behind the rest of the region on this issue, and they want to make sure Massachusetts isn’t losing out on money because of it.

“I also think for us in western Mass, we have an important thing to consider because we do have MGM of course in Springfield, and you know, the state of Connecticut, a short drive down I-91, is about to have, and already largely does, have legal sports betting,” said Senator Eric Lesser.

The legislature is considering several different approaches to legalize sports betting including the use of apps like Draft Kings and Fan Duel or through casinos like MGM or Encore Boston Harbor. Experts say Massachusetts is missing out on about $20 million annually by not legalizing sports betting.

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