Massachusetts Senator Running For Lieutenant Gov. Says Sports Betting Still Has Momentum

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 12, 2022 - Last Updated on January 28, 2022
Skyline of Boston Massachusetts At Dawn For Senator Discussing Sports Betting News

Senator Eric Lesser, a proponent of Massachusetts sports betting, intends to run for lieutenant governor

Lesser, who filed sports betting legislation in the past, also expressed optimism that sports wagering will gain traction over the next few months. He also said it could become legal before Election Day in November.

“My hope is that we can get that done long before the campaign,” Lesser said. “Keep in mind the election is 10, 11 months from now.”

Could Massachusetts sports betting become a reality?

Although it will not be the centerpiece of his campaign, Lesser told MassLive sports betting will “absolutely be” something he talks about while campaigning. However, his main crutch will be an east-west rail transportation system that the senator believes is “vital to spurring equitable growth in the state.”

Lesser filed a sports betting bill in January, which the House approved in July. However, the bill stalled in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

At one point, the state had 14 bills filed in the Commonwealth. One such bill would have allowed small businesses like bars and restaurants to offer sports betting.

MA is surrounded by sports betting states

Last November, Lesser told Spectrum News,

“At a certain point, look, we can’t have a situation where all of our neighbors have this. They put our local businesses and our employees here in Massachusetts at a disadvantage, and it ultimately means tax dollars and potential revenue leaves the state that really shouldn’t be.”

Since there are no legal betting options in the state, customers have utilized mobile sports betting by crossing the border into neighboring states.

Already, four states bordering Massachusetts have legal sports betting, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

The recent addition to the quartet is New York sports betting. After months of anticipation, four operators – DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Caesars – launched mobile operations on Jan. 8.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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