Many lawmakers in the US have a misguided perception of their responsibilities. They believe their decisions should be based on what they want – not on what their constituents want. A poll last year by David A. Paleologos Associates showed that 72% of surveyed residents support legalized sports betting. However, in the state’s capital, many lawmakers turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker hopes he can get them to focus.
Massachusetts Lets Revenue Slip Away
Massachusetts is the source of more than 25% of New Hampshire’s sports betting activity. DraftKings said Monday that 28% of all New Hampshire bets were tied to Massachusetts residents. This is a slight increase from the 26% estimate DraftKings shared before Super Bowl LVI.
Data from other neighboring states that have legalized sports betting, such as Connecticut, hasn’t been produced. However, analysts and lawmakers warn that Massachusetts could lose tens of millions in tax and licensing revenue if proposed legislation is not passed in the state.
Baker, a long-time supporter of legalized sports betting, made a new plea during Super Bowl LVI. He promoted sports gaming via Twitter during the Big Game on Sunday.
The governor tweeted, “We filed a bill in 2019 and again last year to make sports gaming legal. Massachusetts is losing out to neighboring states on this, especially during big games. Enjoy the Super Bowl, and let’s make sports gaming happen!”
If at First You Don’t Succeed
Baker’s renewed attempts mimic previous efforts to bring legal sports betting to Massachusetts. He stated last month that he would sign a bill to legalize the market if it was passed by lawmakers. Baker’s second term will end this year, and he has announced that he will not be seeking re-election.
Baker stated that passing a sports bill would create a new market for the state. He also recalled that he had previously filed legislation to that effect with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. He filed legislation in this direction several years ago with Polito; after that, they both filed another bill.
Baker admitted last month that it’s a “complicated issue.” However, more than 30 other states have figured out how to uncomplicate it.
Massachusetts lawmakers claim that Massachusetts is losing millions in tax revenue due to residents who choose to bet in legalized states. Four of the five neighboring states allow sports gambling.