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August 2, 2022 Sports Betting, Legal, Land Based

Massachusetts small businesses want in on sports betting

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Local bars and restaurants believe that sports betting should be legal in these locations as well.

With sports betting on the way to Massachusetts, small businesses in the state weren't left out of the bill but weren't explicitly included either. Western Mass News spoke with small business owners and a state senator in regard to the legislation. 

Before the legalization of sports betting, the governor needs to sign the compromise bill that passed the Massachusetts House and Senate. 

The legislation allows for 15 online licenses for commercial operators. This is in addition to five retail sportsbooks which will go to the three state casinos, including MGM Springfield and two racetracks.

Western Mass News spoke with State Senator John Velis and asked if restaurants and bars will be included in sports betting.

Velis answered: "To me, they deserve to be part of this process and able to get some of these licenses, so we created a commission.

"At a minimum, we owe them, in light of the way that their businesses have been absolutely decimated because of Covid."

He went on to say that the commission will explore how sports betting could work in restaurants and bars. 

The commission will have until the end of 2022 to complete its study and decide if additional licenses should be granted to small businesses. 

Rumbleseat Bar & Grille Owner Bill Stetson lobbied for small businesses to be included in this legislation.

Stetson stated: "We’re disappointed that it didn’t happen right away, but we’re encouraged by the study, the possibilities and what could come in the future."

The launch date for sports betting in the state hasn't been set but the governor has ten days to sign the legislation into law or reject it. 

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