Mass. Gaming Commission meets to discuss next steps on sports betting

Mass. gaming commission meets to discuss next steps on sports betting
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a meeting to start discussing regulations for sports betting in the state Thursday. This came following Governor Charlie Baker signing the bill into law.

Western Mass News spoke with one local college athletic director to find out how sports betting will impact college athletes here in Massachusetts.

Sports betting is officially legal in the Bay State. The new law allows bets on professional and college sports, but not on Massachusetts college teams unless they are in playoff tournaments like March Madness.

“It’s great for the state of Massachusetts obviously from a revenue standpoint, but it really doesn’t change things here from an NCAA perspective. Our student athletes are not permitted to bet or gamble on any sports,” said Jessica Chapin, director of athletics for American International College.

Western Mass News spoke with Chapin, to find out how this could affect their students who play sports.

“I also just worry about the impact on my student athletes again when they say something’s legal. Students initially say ‘Oh I can do that...’When it’s not authorized under NCAA legislation,” explained Chapin.

Chapin said student athletes have already started arriving on campus for the upcoming fall semester. She said they are stressing the importance to students to not partake in the newly passed sports betting law.

“We will be going through the NCAA readings here with all of our incoming students’ athletes and that is a major touch point again just don’t bet on it whether it’s march madness or super bowl or just with one of your buddies,” said Chapin.

In a public meeting on Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission discussed how they are determined to adopt regulations for sports betting as soon as possible. The commissioner said they are looking forward to working with their current licensees during a round table discussion next week.

“Our team has been working with our current licensees to invite representatives from Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield Plain Ridge, Park Casino and Suffolk Downs to join us, the MGC staff, the public meeting to discuss their plans for the sports wagering,” said Cathy Judd-Stein, chairperson of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Next week’s gaming commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday. At least one local state legislator said he hopes sports betting will launch in time for the Super Bowl.