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Will Sports Betting be Legalized in MA?

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BOSTON – Sports betting still a contested topic amongst Massachusetts lawmakers as the state moves closer and closer towards approving a bill allowing the legalization of sports betting for adults ages 21 and older.

Six state state representatives and senators recently came together to form a conference committee in order to reach an agreement on a sports betting bill to give to Gov. Baker to sign into law before the end of the legislative session in late July.

The state already made progress on legalization after the state senate voted to approve a wagering bill on April 28, allowing adults 21 and older to bet money from casinos and online. However, this bill included provisions on banning the use of credit cards for betting as well as limiting online and television advertising across the state.

Sports betting is already legal in over 30 states, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, which all share a border with Massachusetts.

“Unfortunately we are losing out to our neighbors in New Hampshire and Rhode Island”, said Rep. Jerry Parisella during a meeting with the sports betting conference committee last week.

Additionally, Parisella revealed data from sports betting operator DraftKings, which showed that nearly 30 percent of all bets placed this past Super Bowl in New Hampshire were in reality residents in Massachusetts.

Furthermore, Gov. Baker has suggested that if the bill makes it to his desk this month, and the state representatives and senators can “reconcile their differences”, then he would be willing to sign it into law.

The bill also addressed sports gambling addiction and recovery and provided licenses to companies that can help address and treat these gambling related issues.

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Alex Svenson
Alex Svenson
Alex Svenson is a senior at Suffolk University and a reporter for WestfordCAT and NECN. He primarily covers local government meetings in Westford and updates from MA Rep. Arciero and U.S. Rep. Trahan. He also covers breaking news stories with a focus on police, crime, and social issues. When not reporting, Alex enjoys sports, music, films, and traveling.