The three casinos that are located in Massachusetts have banded together to urge legislators to pass a sports betting bill. With the legislative session ending on the last day of July, time is running short for this to happen.
In recent weeks, Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano said that because of some critical issues, lawmakers are “far apart” from reaching a deal and sending a bill to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.
The three casinos — Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield — have come together with a joint statement to Massachusetts legislators. The overall point of the statement was that the sports betting market in America is highly competitive and that not passing legislation hurts the state in many ways.
Massachusetts Casinos Contributions
Since 2011 when new legislation allowed the three casinos to open, they have been a great source of tax revenue for the state. They have also provided jobs, increased tourism, and much more to the Commonwealth. Here are some notable figures:
- 12,000 construction jobs during various building and expansions of the three casinos.
- 5,000 jobs for Massachusetts residents are provided by the three casinos combined.
- Over $1 billion in tax revenue to the state.
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Critical Points in Favor of Sports Betting
Here are some of the reasons why legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts is critical that the casinos highlighted in their joint statement:
- Thirty-five states have legalized sports betting in various forms.
- Several neighboring states have legalized sports betting, making it to where any Massachusetts resident can place a sports wager with less than an hour’s drive. This is driving tourism and what should be local tax dollars to other neighboring states.
- Impacting casino workforce as employees are leaving to work in other states at venues that have larger crowds because of legalized sports betting.
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Joint Statement’s Closing
The statement is signed by Jenny Holaday, President of Encore Boston Harbor; Chris Kelley, President and COO of MGM Springfield; and North Grounsell V.P. & General Manager of Plainridge Park Casino.
“With less than a week remaining in the legislative session, we respectfully implore you to seize on the opportunity to level the playing field in this hyper-competitive industry,” the statement reads. “We remain readily available to share our policy and operational expertise and work with you towards the establishment of a successful sports wagering market in the Commonwealth.”
Currently, it is not looking good for sports betting legislation to pass in 2022 in Massachusetts. Many experts have tried to encourage lawmakers to compromise and revisit key parts of the legislation in the future, saying that some sports betting would be better than none.
Pressure is on with the three casinos and other businesses expressing their support. One thing remains unfortunate, though, with only days left, lawmakers are still far apart. Barring a breakthrough, sports betting legislation that looked promising earlier in July is not looking, so go now.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa