The greatest journeys begin with a single step.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has authorized a study to examine the legalization and implementation of sports betting in the United States. It’s the first step toward the eventual passing of a sports betting bill by the state legislature in 2022.
The study will be conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, and the MGC has requested that it be completed by June 20, 2022. It comes against the backdrop of two sports betting proposals that have stalled in the state legislature. In July, one of the bills passed the Massachusetts State House with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the state Senate has not yet discussed it.
The study is viewed as a necessary hurdle that will result in valuable industry information to assist lawmakers in crafting a final bill that would most likely pass both the House and Senate.
According to GamingToday.com, Massachusetts lawmakers won’t take further action on sports betting until after they return from holiday recess sometime in early January. If the study isn’t delivered until the deadline, it would require the legislature to introduce or pass an existing bill next summer and quickly move to set regulations and grant licenses in time for a launch of sports betting before the 2022 football season.
For now, the only gambling allowed in Massachusetts is at one of three retail casinos.
Bruins Name DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports Partner
Massachusetts sports betting may be a long way off, but that is not stopping DraftKings from setting itself up for a future launch.
The Boston Bruins have entered into a deal that makes DraftKings the Official Daily Fantasy Sports partner of the NHL team and their home, TD Garden. As part of a multi-year deal between DraftKings and the Bruins, the company will be an exclusive presenting sponsor of the Boston Bruins Foundation 50/50 charity raffle. Previously DraftKings inked an agreement with the NHL as an official daily fantasy partner, as well as an official sports betting partner of the NHL.
By establishing itself as a daily fantasy sports player in Massachusetts, DraftKings broadens its footprint in the state so that when sports betting launches, it is more likely to be selected as one of the platforms that receive a sports betting license.
Sports Betting in the US
Since the US Supreme Court allowed individual states to make their own rules and regulations and launch sports betting, more than half of the country has taken advantage.
Twenty-nine states have launched sports betting in some form, either retail sports betting, mobile sports betting, or both. Three others have legalized it but have not yet launched it.
If Massachusetts ever gets to that point, it will have plenty of competition in New England. Neighboring states New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have launched sports betting. So have New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
For now, the best sports bettors in Massachusetts can do is cross the border into one of the states that has launched sports betting to place a bet on a mobile app.