Massachusetts is home to one of the most passionate sports fan bases in the United States. Surprisingly, state leaders have not capitalized on this fan base by legalizing and regulating sports betting. Many felt that would change in 2020, yet MA’s sports betting proposal has just been pushed back.
It’s disappointing news for many residents here. Several state officials are also expressing disappointment in the decision. Today, we’re going to look at why these plans have been set aside.
Let’s get into it!
More States Are Now Benefiting From Regulated Sports Betting
In mid-May, the Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA, immediately giving every state in the country the ability to legalize sports betting. This was a monumental moment for the gambling industry. Prior to the removal of PASPA, only Nevada was legally able to offer sports betting options.
It didn’t take long for states to take advantage of the change in the law. Many began proposing bills to legalize and regulate sports betting. As time went on, more states started looking into this industry.
Back in March, all major US sports leagues shut down. We’re now entering August, and many of these leagues have now resumed their operations. Sports betting is now more popular than ever before. Overall, however, gambling revenue in the state is down considerably.
States with legal sports betting operations are profiting massively right now. New Jersey, for example, is seeing its sports betting revenue increase from the time prior to the global pandemic. The state taxes this revenue and right now, that money is more important than ever before.
Many predicted that 2020 would be the year Massachusetts decides to regulate sports gambling. With teams like the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins, many felt that this could become one of the most profitable gambling destinations in the country.
New reports indicate the state is pushing its plans to regulate this industry back.
What’s Happening With MA’s Sports Betting Proposal?
Today, more than 20 states around the United States have now officially regulated and legalized sports betting. All of these states are now profiting massively off the industry. It seemed almost guaranteed that Massachusetts would be one of the states to embrace this new form of gambling.
Several sports betting bills have been introduced in this state over the years. Many have gained support from lawmakers. Interestingly, none have managed to get formally approved by the House and Senate.
Most recently, Massachusetts’ Senate proposed a new bill called S 2842, an amendment to the House’s bill. It seemed to include everything both legislative groups asked for. Unfortunately, the House has just passed a new economic development bill that does not allow for the legalization of sports betting.
Senator Michael Rodrigues, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, spoke about this situation to the media today.
“As it relates to sports gaming, sports wagering, I believe that certainly the time is close when we are going to be tackling this issue, but the time is not now,” he said. “Nor is this the proper vehicle to do so in.”
MA’s sports betting proposal is not completely dead, though. Several lawmakers here claim they will continue to discuss the matter in a few weeks. For now, the focus is on bringing the state as much money as possible with what’s already available.
Casinos in Massachusetts Have Finally Reopened
There’s no telling when sports betting will become officially legal in Massachusetts. Lawmakers seem interested in the proposals from the House and Senate. There simply seems to be more pressing matters at hand.
That doesn’t mean the state’s gambling industry is dead. Recently, Massachusetts’ casinos finally opened their doors. This state was one of the last to allow its major gambling venues to begin operating again.
The Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield are accepting guests again. According to new reports, both of these venues are getting praise for their safety measures. There are many rules set in place in these casinos, including a mask requirement and distance between players at table games.
Revenue from these casinos are certainly still low, though. Even in cities like Las Vegas, which allowed casinos to reopen in early June, casino revenue is significantly lower than it was last year. Most analysts predict that gambling revenue will remain low for the rest of 2020.
If MA’s sports betting proposal was approved, the state could have begun earning more money from its gambling industry. The sports gambling bills have been pushed aside, for now. Things could change over the next couple of months, though.
Do you think sports betting should be legalized in Massachusetts? Let us know in the comments section below!