Massachusetts’ governor is pushing for sports betting launch
By Bob Garcia
Governor Baker is watching as other states start raking in revenue from the NFL season
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has made it clear that he wants sports betting to be approved as soon as possible, especially as the New England Patriots’ home opener kicked off on Sunday. Minutes before kickoff against the Miami Dolphins, Baker took to his official Twitter account to press state lawmakers to act on the Bay State’s sports betting legislation.
What has the governor most concerned is that not only is his bill, H.70, stalled in the state legislature, but at least 20 other bills to legalize sports betting aren’t getting much movement either. His bill has been greatly overshadowed by H.3993, which received the go-ahead from the state Senate two months ago, with a 156-3 vote. “We filed a bill in 2019 and again this year to legalize sports betting in MA – it’s time to act and get this done. MA is losing out to many of our neighbors on this one.” Baker tweeted.
It is believed that the Senate will take under consideration the House bill or a rival proposal sponsored by Senator Eric Lesser and that one of the two will turn out to be the one selected. Not only are Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Delaware neighboring states that already have sports betting legal and in operation, but now Connecticut and New York are also poised to enter the regional market. This puts more pressure on Massachusetts; however, it doesn’t seem to be being given enough prominence. Since 2018, the state has been launching different proposals to open this market, but no success has been achieved so far.
It is very likely that Massachusetts is going to need to have a regulatory bill through the governor this fall if it expects sports betting to arrive before the prestigious Super Bowl 2022 event; otherwise, there is no strict deadline for action this year.