Hold Up with Massachusetts Sports Betting Frustrating for Locals

Hirokazu Sawamura #18 of the Boston Red Sox walks off the field in Boston, Massachusetts. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images/AFP

When you look at what has transpired in Massachusetts since PASPA was struck down in 2018, it doesn’t make sense that sports betting is still not legal there.

Not only were they among the first states to get the process going back then, but they also doesn’t seem to be any real organized opposition.

There is one person who seems to be getting the majority of the blame; the Massachusetts Senate president.

The Situation in Massachusetts Shows Flaw in System

It seems unfair to blame one person for Massachusetts not having legalized sports betting. The thing is, when you begin looking for a specific reason as to why this hasn’t happened after all these years, one name keeps coming up; Senate president Karen Spilka.

According to reports, she has been blocking the path to legalization in her home state for at least four years.

When PASPA was struck down in 2018, the General Court was already having a discussion about how to undertake this new potential revenue source.

It is well known in Massachusetts that Spilka is opposed to all forms of gambling so it’s no surprise that she would be anti-sports betting.

The real issue is; how one person has the power to hold up the entire process without any real opposition. That’s way too much power for one person which means the system needs to be updated.

Several Attempts Have Been Shot Down

Spilka is in charge of how issues are prioritized as Senate president. Her formula isn’t complicated, with that power, she simply keeps the issue of sports betting on the back burner.

In fact, two separate bills have been sitting in the Joint Ways and Means Committee for almost a year even though they were passed by the House.

One attempt that many thought would have the power to sway those in the Senate that is holding up the process is the support shown by the local sports teams.

Massachusetts is one of the hotbeds of the true sport in the country and local sports teams, especially the Red Sox of the MLB, the Patriots of the NFL and the Celtics of the NBA.

Those three franchises are some of the biggest brands on the planet and they all voiced their support for the legalization of sports betting. The Senate however did not seem interested in their opinions at all.

With the financial power of Massachusetts (they are regularly top 5 wealthiest states in the country), it makes absolutely no sense that things can’t move forward because of one person.

Until the system is fixed or that person is replaced, nobody will be able to give a legitimate reason why Massachusetts residents are surrounded by states that have legalized betting while they remain on the outside looking in.

House Has Done Their Part

There isn’t much more the House can do once they approve a bill. In fact, they’ve done such a good job in terms of their process that there’s even a bill on the table that would legalize mobile sports betting, which in the New England area would be a virtual gold mine.

Even with that on the table, not a word from the Senate and even less action. Players in Massachusetts and across the country that don’t yet have access to legalized sports betting via mobile can go to OddsTrader once this changes.

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