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No matter how hard some Massachusetts lawmakers try to get a sports betting bill passed through the state’s congress, for one reason or another they keep coming up short, but on Monday Governor Charlie Baker told the press that he would happily sign a bill whenever they send it to him.
Speaking at the State House on Monday before his final State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, Gov. Baker expressed how willing he would be (and always has been) to back any sports betting bill the state legislators can pass, saying:
There are many things that would make me happy before I leave office, if I have the chance to sign them. One of them would certainly be a sports betting bill.
This is nothing new for Baker, who, with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, filed sports betting legislation back in 2019 that would permit anyone in Massachusetts to bet on professional sports using the gaming license regulatory structure that already exists in the Codfish State.
That bill and others like it have failed to get traction in both chambers of the state’s legislative body, but given Gov. Baker’s willingness to launch a sports betting market in Massachusetts as soon as possible, state lawmakers have essentially been given the green light.
Last July, the Massachusetts House of Representatives almost unanimously passed a sports betting bill – H.B. 3993 – but it did not get the approval of the Senate before the year’s session ended, perhaps because that chamber has its own version of the same bill entitled S. 269.
Lots of options for lawmakers to debate, a back and forth most likely in progress since their 2022 session began on January 5, but it’s a lengthy process with lots of red tape and regulatory speed bumps so Bay State bettors will have to continue to be patient in the meantime.
There is plenty of support for this issue from other state leaders as we reported earlier in Sen. Eric Lesser Hopes MA Legalizes Sports Betting Before His Campaign for LG, the hope being to get this tricky ball rolling sooner rather than later or risk losing more and more potential revenue.
What Massachusetts is facing is the same reality every other non-sports betting state is contending with, which is that its residents are already spending millions of dollars on sports betting, they are just making those bets elsewhere.
Currently four of the states bordering Massachusetts – Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island – allow residents to legally bet on sports either in person, via mobile apps, or both, a relatively quick drive for gamblers anxious to participate in this exciting activity.
Its money that’s already being spent so it makes perfect sense to legalize, regulate, and tax that existing sports gambling black market, and with so many Massachusetts lawmakers and the governor behind it, expect the sticky gears of its state congress to get greasy sometime soon.
Keep checking back for all 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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