The Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends July 31, Sports Betting to be Discussed
With half of July about over now, Massachusetts lawmakers are running out of time to come to some type of compromise over the issue of legal sports betting since their legislative session is scheduled to end on July 31st, which leaves just a few weeks to find common ground.
Problem is, sports betting isn’t the only item on legislators’ collective plate, with a mental health bill and reproductive rights also requiring their attention, among other items, and that is why many industry insiders are wondering if with such little time remaining anything can be done.
State Representative Carlos Gonzalez understands the responsibility that rests on his and fellow lawmakers’ shoulders, with voters paying close attention to how he and his colleagues finish out this session, the Rep. telling the press recently:
It’s the end of the session. We’ve been hard at work for two years. So many issues that are at the cusp of making this state better to rise to the top.
And when it comes to the issue of legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts, three major sticking points remain with one rising straight to the top.
College Betting Issue Remains Sticking Point Between Both Sides
As we reported in MA Gaming Commission Set to Write Non-Contested Sports Betting Regulations, a legal sports betting market is expected to launch at some point in Massachusetts, the optimism so high that the Gaming Commission is already moving ahead.
With all the parts of this potential sports betting market that both sides already agree on, the MA Gaming Commish (MGC) has begun filling out that paperwork in advance, but now state lawmakers have to figure out how to compromise on three major sticking points that exist.
Gonzalez has said that
One of the main issues is college betting. The house feels that we should allow college betting and the senate does not.
Whether residents will be able to place wagers on college athletes seems to be the biggest roadblock between the two sides, though the fact that most other states where sports betting has been made legal have college betting should be an indication of how well it works.
Also in the mix are the level of Ad guidelines that will be applied as well as what the fair tax rate is to apply to sportsbook revenue, all issues that have kept Massachusetts from joining in on what is proving to be a total cash cow.
MA Continues to Lose Potential Sports Betting Tax Revenue to Neighboring States
The Massachusetts house and senate can continue to bicker back and forth over all these issues that other states have been able to settle on, but the more time they waste the more money they are losing to the other New England states where sports betting is already legal.
MA bettors have not been waiting around for their legislators to launch a state market, they have been traveling to other states like New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to place their wagers, or else they are using unregulated offshore sportsbooks to take their action.
Either way, that’s millions of potential dollars flowing outwards, and only state legislators can put an end to that by redirecting it homewards with legislation that launches a solid sports betting market just like the ones in over thirty other states now.