Massachusetts legislators discuss sports betting

Two Representatives said that if the state decides to legalise sports betting, it probably won’t happen soon.

US.- Massachusetts Representatives Stephen Kulik and Solomon Goldstein-Rose talked about the Supreme Court’s decision to allow each state to decide whether they want to offer sports betting, and said that their state probably won’t legalise the gambling activity anytime soon, if it decides to do so.

Goldstein-Rose said: “I think it’s something the Legislature is going to look at. I know the speaker, the Senate president and the governor have all said it’s something they’re interested in and, in Massachusetts Legislature-style, want to move very slowly and deliberately on.”

Kulik agreed and said that he believes the Legislature will approach this carefully as it doesn’t need to be rushed into. “Legislators will want to have a clear understanding what the risks and benefits are of legalizing sports betting in the state. What are the revenues that will be coming into the commonwealth that would help support spending in the state budget? What would be the potential downside for the state lottery, which is a major source of local aid for cities and towns, and would there be any negative impact on that?”

“I think it’s going to take some very careful research and deliberation that probably won’t happen any sooner than the next session of the Legislature beginning next January,” Kulik added. “I can’t imagine we rush into anything now in the remaining weeks of the current general session.”

Kulik added that watching how New Jersey proceeds will be a smart move, as they’re aware of the effect that it could have on the state lottery if casinos start operating online. “When we approved and adopted casino gambling in Massachusetts, much of the argument was a lot of Massachusetts residents who gambled were going to Connecticut and spending their money there,” Kulik said. “Their dollars generated economic activity and tax revenues for Connecticut. So a big reason for establishing it in Massachusetts was for Massachusetts residents to spend their gaming dollars closer to home. I think the same would be true in sports betting, for sure.”

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