The Massachusetts Senate

  • Sports betting was not included as a revenue stream in Massachusetts on the 2022 FY budget proposal.
  • Multiple bills to regulate a sports wagering industry have been introduced to the Bay State in 2021.
  • The Massachusetts Legislature adjourns on December 31, leaving more than six months for the state legislature to pass a sports betting bill.

BOSTON – For the second year in a row, Massachusetts has refrained from including sports betting as a source of revenue on their budget proposal. Both the House and Senate have refused to put sports gaming on their bills for the 2022 FY budget despite a number of lawmakers pushing for the inclusion of the industry.

However, this does not mean that Massachusetts cannot regulate sports wagering in its 2021 session, which adjourns on December 31.

The subject of Massachusetts sports betting has been widely publicized and covered through numerous bills presented to the Massachusetts Legislature this year. While dozens of House and Senate bills have been introduced, few have seen any traction since their introductions. But there is still six months left in the session for any one of these measures to find approval.

Massachusetts Sports Betting

Regulated sports betting in Massachusetts is something that everyone from professional sports teams to Governor Charlie Baker himself wants to see happen in 2021. There are a plethora of bills to choose from to develop the foundation for the market, The Governor has even drawn up his own proposal for a sports gaming industry but that still didn’t get the pastime to find a spot on the 2022 FY budget.

Ultimately, retail and mobile sportsbooks are what lawmakers want to see from the sports gaming market in Massachusetts. Teams are pushing for regulated sports wagering because the Commonwealth is home to so many great organizations and the fan bases that go along with them. These sports bettors end up using outside sources such as neighboring states like Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island to get skin in on the games, which is all money lost for the Bay State.

Senator Brendan Crighton has been an advocate for sports wagering in MA for quite some time and a sponsor to bills like this year’s Senate Bill 257 to regulate sports wagering. His legislation saw its last action in March, after undergoing some amendments but Senator Crighton is hopeful that it can be molded into something that will pass in 2021.

“I’m proud to reintroduce S.257, an act to regulate sports wagering, which was referred to the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. I look forward to advocating for this legislation and believe Massachusetts is well positioned to create a national model for legalized sports betting. We need to prioritize strong consumer protections as we bring individuals out of the illegal market and into a safe and regulated marketplace for responsible gaming,” said Senator Crighton to LegalSportsBetting.

What’s Next For Massachusetts?

With so many government officials and those associated with sports organizations in favor of a sports betting market in Massachusetts, it’s hard to see a measure not pass in 2021.

While the industry was not included in the budget, it can always be added to it should one of the bills to regulate sports wagering find passage before the year’s end. And if lawmakers want to keep the money that fans use to wager inside the Commonwealth instead of continuing to have it go outside of the Bay State, they’ll regulate a sports betting market in Massachusetts in 2021.

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