Sports betting operators feel that the odds are not in their favor for the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts by the end of 2021. The Senate leaders have already hinted that sports betting legalization are not a top priority for the fall session.
Karen Spilka, Senate President, has stated that the Senate is trying to restrict its agendas for the fall session because they need to create a permanent Votes act after the temporary one ends, they need to finish a supplemental budget report, and they have to close out all accounts for the year.
A sports betting bill had already been passed in the MA House in July of this year with the expectation that it would generate $70 million in annual revenue and around $80 million for five licensing agreements. But with the packed schedule for the Senate, this bill may again be put on the backburner.
This attempt by the House in July follows a long string of attempts to legalize sports betting in MA. The first attempt was made in 2018, but no progress could be made. The House had passed another bill in the last session of the legislature, but the Senate President had scrapped it, claiming that it was not an important measure during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
This time too, there are very low chances of the sports betting legislation passing through the Senate. Sports betting has already been legalized in thirty states of the United States, including some MA neighbors like New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.
Governor of MA Charlie Baker, on the other hand, is keen to get sports betting started in the state. On the day of the Patriots’ first game of the season, he spoke out on Twitter about the need to introduce sports betting facilities in the state so that it does not fall behind its neighbors on a major source of revenue.
Sports betting legislation across the USA has kept the gaming revenues afloat even in the midst of the pandemic. It contributes to a total of 13% of the entire revenue from commercial gaming in the USA.
MA Senate will break for the year on Thanksgiving, and so there are still six weeks for the sports betting bill to be debated and passed. However, odds for this happening are very low, and many legislators are already looking towards the next year to push for the sports betting bill.