Massachusetts casinos weigh in on mobile sportsbooks
Massachusetts lawmakers conducted a hearing this week to discuss the future of online sports gambling
Massachusetts lawmakers are still unclear how to move forward with online sports gambling, so they held a two-day hearing this week in order to receive more input. In total, nine bills are being considered and the legislators are probably suffering from information overload, but a trio of casinos sent them some information ahead of time that they hoped would help clear the air.
MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor penned the letter, which reads, in part, “Mobile sports wagering should be reserved for licensed casino operators and a limited number of daily fantasy operators with proven sports wagering experience.
“These operators have already made tremendous investments and are large drivers of economic activity, jobs and tourism for the Commonwealth.”
There is still a lot of debate over whether or not sports gambling should be legalized and, if it were, what would be offered. Many are calling for a prohibition on college and high school sports competitions, including the state’s governor, Charlie Baker. Baker, who submitted one of the nine sports gambling bills, opposes anything other than professional sports wagers and would definitely veto any bill that sought to allow college and/or high school sports gambling.
Senator Brendan Crighton, who thinks that all sports gambling should be allowed, states, “To fully realize the potential for mobile sports wagering, the legalization should allow mobile operators to receive licenses directly from the regulator rather than requiring partnership with land-based facilities.”
There is still no clear picture of how the sports gambling industry in the state will take shape. Compared to other states that have been able to reach agreements fairly easily, Massachusetts lawmakers seemingly have a more difficult time finding common ground.