Massachusetts Senate president admits legalized sports betting not a priority

Massachusetts Senate president admits legalized sports betting not a priority

Senate President Karen Spilka thinks the chamber doesn’t have the “bandwidth” to tackle sports betting

In order for sports betting legislation to be successful, it is necessary to have the support of important leaders in their respective states. It appears that Massachusetts does not have this benefit as Karen Spilka, the Senate President, admitted that this market is not on her list of priorities ahead of an onslaught of legislation coming this fall.

During an interview late last week in which it was given a priority on the Senate’s fall agenda, Spilka made it clear that she is “not certain that there’s a need for even more money” to address transportation issues and indicated the chance of Senate action to allow gambling on sports will depend on available “bandwidth.”

According to what she indicated, there are a total of five issues that the Senate hopes to address in the next six weeks before formal legislative business comes to a halt again. When asked if sports betting legislation would be a topic for discussion this fall, Spilka said the Senate Ways and Means Committee “is looking at it.”

“We have to do redistricting; we have to close out the books and do a [supplemental] budget, we need to do a more permanent VOTES act, our temporary (provisions) end in December,” she added. “Some of it will depend upon bandwidth and how it stands.”

Sports betting received House approval more than two months ago, but the Senate has long passed up different opportunities for the idea to come to a concrete solution. If this behavior continues, Bay State may not open its doors to the sports betting market for quite some time.

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