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Massachusetts Senate President “Hopeful” Sports Betting Compromise is Possible

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
10 min read
  • Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka Talks with Media on Wednesday
  • There Are “Six to Eight Conference Committees Going On” According to Spilka
  • Can MA House Be More Flexible on College Betting with “Obvious Compromise”?
Massachusetts Sports Betting Compromise Possible

Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka Talks with Media on Wednesday

Talk about changing a tune – there was a time when Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka failed to make sports betting legislation a priority for her chamber, but now she has told the media that she holds optimism for this issue to get resolved during the current session.

On Wednesday, Spilka talked to local reporters and said:

I know the conference committee is working on [sports betting], too. We have, what, six or eight conference committees going on? It would be wonderful to resolve all of them. I’m hopeful.

There seems to be an equal amount of enthusiasm from the Massachusetts House side of things judging from state Rep. Jerry Parisella’s recent comments regarding the same issue, the lawmaker telling the press:

We’re losing out to our neighbors. New Hampshire has it, Rhode Island has it, New York has it.  So we’re really working hard to make this happen.

It’s not like MA lawmakers aren’t debating both sides of this contentious issue.

There Are “Six to Eight Conference Committees Going On” According to Spilka

As we recently reported, Less Than Three Weeks Remain for Massachusetts to Legalize Sports Betting in 2022, so this becomes a race against the clock as July ticks down since the current legislative session ends on July 31st, with so many committees still battling back and forth.

Currently, a ‘select committee’ is attempting to reach a final agreement that both sides can agree on, but the same sticking points keep appearing, though according to a tweet from Boston reporter Katie Lannan, Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano is also optimistic:

He said that both sides were going to have to be willing to move to get to a deal. We don’t know how much they might have moved at this point. One of the big sticking points is around college sports betting.

There does seem to be an “obvious compromise” when it comes to college betting there.

Can MA House Be More Flexible on College Betting with “Obvious Compromise”?

Most industry insiders agree that college betting works in every state except for the one where it is not allowed (Oregon), but Massachusetts college presidents are fighting back on this issue worried that college sports betting will somehow taint their programs.

That means a compromise must be struck, and the most obvious one was recently explored by managing editor at Play Massachusetts Jason Schaumburg, who told the press:

The compromise would be allowing betting (but) not betting on Massachusetts colleges and universities. That would seem to be the obvious compromise.

Pro sports in that state are seemingly onboard, with the MLB’s Boston Red Sox recently attempting to qualify for a sports betting license, a chance to make their sport even more exciting for fans by allowing them to put money on the outcome of those games.

With billions of dollars at stake here, and much of that now being channeled out of state via unregulated offshore sportsbooks or nearby states where that activity is already legal, it makes sense for MA lawmakers to figure out a middle ground and get that market launched soon.

Follow other states for updates on betting legislation

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Mike Lukas

1205 Articles

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]

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