A poll by Encore Boston Harbor and the Plainridge Park Casino commission has found that 61% of Massachusetts voters would support the implementation of sports betting throughout the state.
This increases to 72% should the funds raised be used to support education and other welfare programs. The poll took place in early June and saw 500 registered voters give their opinion on the topic.
These numbers have come in just in time for a hearing being held early on Thursday to discuss the topic of sports betting legalization.
State representative Brad Hill believes Massachusetts needs to move quickly on sports betting legalization in order to avoid more lost revenue. He said, “We need to get this done sooner rather than later, because all the other surrounding states are getting our revenue. I like to call myself ‘the defender of the New Hampshire border,’ because of [where] I represent. A lot of Massachusetts residents are going to New Hampshire to place these bets.”
However, the last time sports betting was proposed as legislation last year, it failed to pass through the Senate.
The current proposed bill would require half of the funds raised by sports betting to go towards improving transportation infrastructure throughout the state, and the other half towards K-12 education. This model, Hill claims, is inspired by the state lottery.
Sports betting was legalized in 2018 through the supreme court and since then 21 states have introduced legislation allowing it to take place.
Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker (pictured) has planned for the legalisation of sports betting by including $35 million in his revenue estimate for the fiscal year.