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Earlier this week, Massachusetts Senator Eric Lesser declared his candidacy for lieutenant governor in that state, the longtime advocate of legalizing sports betting later sharing his views on whether Codfish State lawmakers can finally make legal sports gambling a reality.
Lesser told media outlet MassLive that he is optimistic about this issue being settled in 2022, saying:
My hope is that we can get that done long before the campaign. Keep in mind the election is ten, eleven months from now.
That’s good news for Bay State bettors who have been forced to place their wagers elsewhere, an ongoing financial trend some legislators like Lesser and other industry leaders have noticed and would love to see changed sooner rather than later.
It appears sports betting will be at the top of Sen. Lesser’s upcoming to-do list.
There have been multiple attempts to pass sports betting legislation through the Massachusetts congress but for various red-tape reasons those bills were never signed into law and now Sen. Lesser’s Senate Bill 269 (S 269) is awaiting the next legislative session for debate.
As with all controversial legislation, compromises will have to be reached before Gov. Charlie Baker ever gets the chance to sign any bill into law, so in the meantime, Sen. Lesser says his office has been busy making sports betting a “top-tier issue.”
Lesser says he will not let his upcoming campaign for the lieutenant governor’s office affect his priorities on this topic, one that he intends to follow through on while he is running for office, telling MassLive:
It’ll absolutely be something I talk about on the trail.
It’s a smart political and financial move given how inevitable the shift to legal sports betting has become in the US, the potential revenue flow too tempting for most budget-challenged states to resist.
The reality is that Massachusetts residents already gamble on sports, they just use offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies to do it, or, easier yet, they make a quick trip to one of the many neighboring states that have already legalized this activity.
Four out of five of MA’s neighboring states already have either mobile or in-person sports betting (or both), with New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York all with some form of legal sports gambling for their residents.
That’s millions of dollars flowing out of the state annually, tax revenue that could flow back to the residents if Sen. Lesser’s S 269 can make its way to the Governor’s desk sometime soon, a feat that will take plenty of cooperation from all sides.
It will be interesting to see how Lesser’s public stance on sports betting affects the other candidates for MA lieutenant governor including state Sen. Adam Hinds, state Rep. Tami Gouveia, and Babson College lecturer Bret Bero.
Keep checking back for the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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