Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

  • The 2022 FY in Massachusetts begins on July 1.
  • The Massachusetts Legislature is in session until the end of the year.
  • There is still time to include a regulated sports betting industry within the budget proposal that has already been introduced to the Legislature.

BOSTON – Nothing is set in stone yet but the Massachusetts 2022 FY budget proposal has been written up and sports betting is nowhere within it. This seems like a major blow to the large number of lawmakers and proposals that have been trying to regulate the market in 2021.

A regulated sports wagering industry for Massachusetts has been backed by Governor Charlie Baker unsuccessfully for years. However, there is still time to add the market as a revenue source for the new budget proposal this year and pass a bill for it this session.

“I think there is potential to get it done (sports betting regulation) in the House yet,” said Ron Mariano, the House Speaker.

What’s Happening In Massachusetts?

The budget has only just passed through the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday after its initial introduction. It will be moving to the House floor later this month for a vote. Should it pass without amendments it would need the approval of the Senate before Governor Baker could sign off on the $47.6 billion 2022 FY budget proposal to make it official.

Due to the number of channels the measure must go through to reach a final agreement, regulated Massachusetts sports betting is not off of the table by no ways or means which ironically is the name of the first committee to pass the budget bill without the inclusion of sportsbooks.

There are plenty of bills to make sports wagering a regulated industry in Massachusetts and the number of advocates for the activity is endless. Professional leagues in the Commonwealth as well as multiple government officials and Governor Charlie Baker himself all want to see a bill pass in 2021 to make sports betting a state-sanctioned pastime.

The only thing that would not be allowed in the industry through the measures seen is betting on Massachusetts college teams. Professional sporting events, international competitions, and colleges outside of the Commonwealth would all be open for wagers. On top of that, there would be retail and mobile sportsbooks available statewide.

What The Legislature Could Consider

Lawmakers who are proponents of regulating sports betting argue that sports fans in Massachusetts bet on games daily, making this a potentially lucrative market for the economy equating to hundreds of millions a year seen in wagers placed.

NFL betting for the New England Patriots could be the largest money maker for the market as they still have a diehard following even without Tom Brady. But whether or not the budget bill decides to include sports gaming will make no difference to sports bettors in the Bay State. Gamblers will continue to bet daily on sports as they have been doing for years.

However, it is likely that the 2022 FY budget will be amended to include regulated sports wagering in Massachusetts. Afterall, the Governor has to sign off on the bill and he wants to see the industry included within it.

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