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For any Massachusetts lawmakers still on the fence about legalizing sports betting for resident gamblers, it must be impactful to hear state Attorney General Maura Healey shift her stance on that contentious issue and come full circle to support the launching of such a market.
Healey, who is also now the frontrunner in the MA Democratic primary race for governor, just told a GBH News reporter on Boston Public Radio that figuring out a way to pass a sports betting bill through both houses of state congress “is the way now.”
As for lawmakers moving forward on this issue, Healey says:
I am confident that the Legislature will work something out.
When asked why she was initially against legalizing sports betting, Healey was honest with GBH, saying:
I was concerned about protecting consumers, so to speak. It’s here, and my office as a team investigates issues in our gaming establishments. And I have an appointment to the (Massachusetts) Gaming Commission, so it is here.
Kudos must be given to any politician willing to shift their stance once given more info, and now Healey seems to realize that legalizing sports betting can make addressing problem gambling easier, especially when the state decides to earmark some funds to help make that happen.
It also doesn’t hurt that the majority of state senators agree with her.
In a prior article – Massachusetts Sports Betting “Hesitation Lives in the State Senate” Says Globe – we reported that the Boston Globe had accused the state senate of “blocking legal sports betting” due to fears over gamblers “losing their money.”
But now according to a recent State House News Service poll, 60% of MA Senators now support legal sports betting in some form, so it would seem to be a matter of when, not if, a workable piece of legislation begins to make its way through those state chambers.
It makes sense given all the support that move has been given by many major players, including all the major sports franchises in the state, all the major casinos, Governor Charlie Baker, and the MA State House of Representatives, all-seeing the logic of moving forward with this issue.
The longer lawmakers wait, the more sports betting money goes elsewhere.
One major supporter of legalizing, regulating, and taxing a sports betting market in Massachusetts has been Governor Charlie Baker who understands that this activity is already happening, it’s just that the money is going elsewhere instead of benefitting those at home.
Baker told the press:
For people in Massachusetts – literally many do – to just drive over the border, to be able to participate in something that is another form of entertainment, I think is unfortunate.
It’s true – MA bettors can travel to New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island if they want to place money on their favorite sports games or players, three states of the thirty and counting that have already legalized that activity for anyone who lives (or travels) there.
Given the amount of support legal sports betting seems to be gathering in Massachusetts, it might not be long before fans there can put money on the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics without having to travel elsewhere or risk unregulated sportsbook bets to do it.
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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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