Getting Answers: An update on sports betting in Massachusetts
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A bill on sports betting in the commonwealth was approved by the state’s house of representatives and senate early Monday morning. Now, it awaits the governor’s signature. But, how long could it be before Baystaters are actually allowed to place sports bets in casinos?
Many in Massachusetts were very excited to hear that state lawmakers finally came to an agreement on a bill that allows sports betting in the commonwealth. But, they may have to wait a little while before that can happen.
The legislation allows 15 online licenses, like Draft Kings and Fanduel.
That’s in addition to five retail sportsbooks, which will go to the three state casinos, including MGM Springfield, and two racetracks.
Now that legislation will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature, which has to happen by August 11th. Even if he signs it, the process still needs to be worked out. Some lawmakers suggested this week, that the legislation may be in place for the fall sports season. But officials from the state’s Gaming Commission said it probably won’t happen that quickly.
“I’ve seen some folks in the newspaper, from the public and others that they hope to have this thing up and running in a very, very short period of time. And I just want the public to be clear at least from my view and I’m not speaking for the whole commission but from my point of view, this is going to take a little longer than people anticipate and I’m okay with that,” explained Brad Hill of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
On Monday State Senator John Velis said the commission will examine how sports betting could possibly work in restaurants and bars, which are not currently included in the bill.
They have until the end of the year to complete that study and decide if additional licenses should be granted to small businesses.
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