November 23, 2020 Sports Betting, Legal

Fight continues to bring sports betting to Massachusetts

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Gaming companies, sports entities draft letter to state legislature to leverage action.

After the Massachusetts State Senate recently declined to add sports betting to its 2021 budget, a mixture of gaming companies and sports teams wrote to the members of the state’s Economic Development Bill Conference Committee.

The letter, signed by Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox; Robyn Glaser, SVP business affairs, The Kraft Group, who represents the New England Patriots and Revolution; Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings; and Matt King, CEO of FanDuel among others, cites the 2018 decision by the US Supreme Court allowing states to legalize sports betting. It urges the Committee members to pass sports betting legislation as part of a pending economic development bill.

“Quite simply, Massachusetts can’t afford to wait,” the letter asserts, adding, “This is a unique moment for the legislature to act to protect consumers, create jobs and generate an estimated $50 million in direct, annual tax revenue to the Commonwealth.”

It also says there’s already a massive betting market in Massachusetts run by offshore sites. The authors cite a study by Oxford Economics, which estimates approximately 1.4 million residents place almost $3.2 billion in sports wagers online in the illegal market.

“These illegal mobile sportsbooks are not regulated, they provide no tax revenue or economic benefits to Massachusetts, and they offer no consumer protections,” the letter states. “The single most effective way to defeat the illegal market is to create a competitive, legal sports betting framework.

“The signatories to this letter stand ready to invest heavily to ensure a legal market in Massachusetts will thrive.”

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