A News Service survey gauging senators’ sentiments towards sports betting was conducted recently in Massachusetts and it seems that 60% of Senate members are in favor of legalizing sports gambling. So is MA Gov. Charlie Baker who has been championing the passage of a sports betting bill since he arrived in office – and sometime before.
Massachusetts Sees Some Numbers Gauging Support for Gambling
Support in the House seems to be even greater with a 156-3 vote last summer backing a sports gambling proposal and being bumped to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Yet, no further action on the bill has been taken, which brings the question – what’s stopping senators from acting?
In the survey, it seemed that no senator, in particular, was opposed to the legislation, although there were those who talked about potential issues with gambling. House Bill 3993 is yet to make any significant progress, but Gov. Baker urged the legislature to act and reminded that the matter will go through the state’s legislative mechanism and be resolved successfully. There was no point in delaying this development, Baker reminded.
Baker agreed that some other legislative proposal may be tabled as the current one is bogged down, and reminded that sports gambling is already happening, but the state was missing out.
“And for people in Massachusetts – literally many do – to just drive over the border, to be able to participate in something that is another form of entertainment, I think is unfortunate.”
MA Gov. Charlie Baker
However, Senate president Karen Spilka said that she was neutral or at least didn’t offer an opinion for the survey. Spilka simply said that there were those who wished for sports gambling and those who opposed it. Senators seem to be largely in favor but the details are still murky in the sense that nobody is talking specifics about sports regulation.
Senators Not Fully Convinced about Sports Betting Yet
Even then, things should not be that difficult to figure out. For one, there are over 30 successful examples of how sports gambling legislation should be passed. Senate president Pro Tempore Will Brownsberger cautioned though that some questions remain unresolved and there need to be guaranteed in order to see the whole thing through.
The survey though has shed some light on where senators stand as the past year has been mostly ill-defined insofar as legislators’ stance on gambling went. With 24 senators backing sports gambling and many needed convincing evidence of the activity’s economic windfall, sports gambling may indeed have a chance. However, there are 12 dark horses in the senate who refused to comment or have not provided an answer yet.