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Massachusetts lawmakers have until July 31, 2022, to debate and pass a sports betting bill, something that they have failed do in the past (with most of the hesitation living in the state Senate as we have reported), that deadline being the end of the current legislative session
Were a sports betting bill to pass through both chambers during this session and earn a signature from Gov. Charlie Baker, the Mass Gaming Commission is set to implement the plan with haste, with Chair Cathy Judd-Stein at a recent UNH Law School roundtable saying:
We feel really confident that with all the due diligence we’re doing, if we were designated the regulator of legalized sports wagering, we’d be able to get those regulations in place nimbly and we’d be able to start issuing licenses (to) start accepting sports bets.
The amount of time between when a sports betting bill becomes law and when the first wager is placed is greater than many bettors might hope, with lots to get done like doling out licenses to qualified applicants, creating and testing the sportsbooks, and setting up the financial streams.
Sports betting bills keep stalling out in the Mass Congress, with lawmakers possibly being too careful for their own good.
Though a sports betting bill was passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives in both 2020 and 2021, neither of those proposals ever made it to the Senate for further discussions or debate, a sign that some state leaders have little use for that issue.
According to Chair Judd-Stein, however, there is still plenty of interest by lawmakers in seeing a legal sports betting market launch in Massachusetts, it’s just that to do this thing correctly takes more time than some impatient outsiders might like, with the Chair saying:
The Massachusetts Legislature demonstrated back in 2011 their desire to be thorough and deliberate … when they expanded the Gaming Act. If and when the… legislature decides to legalize sports wagering in Massachusetts it will be done very, very thoughtfully.
Nobody would argue against taking the time to create a meticulous plan for launching such an important and lucrative market, but for every month lawmakers stall, that’s millions of dollars in potential tax revenue they are missing out on and with so many in favor of it that gets frustrating.
Massachusetts bettors are no doubt growing impatient at the snails pace that lawmakers are taking with a legalization process that over thirty other states have already been implemented and who are now enjoying a new income stream that they can earmark for whatever they like.
What makes the delay even more bewildering is the apparent support a legal sports betting market there already has, from Governor Baker and the state House lawmakers to the casinos and the many professional sports team that make their home there.
The good news is that once a bill is signed, Chair Cathy Judd-Stein is convinced her commission can get that market up and running swiftly, a tricky process that industry insiders and gamblers will want to get done in time for the fall start to the NFL’s next regular season.
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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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