Upcoming Match-ups

Massachusetts Treasurer Wants Sports Betting If It Does Not Affect State Lottery

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Dec 29, 2021 · 7:55 AM PST

Massachusetts' T.J. Weeks shooting a free throw
Massachusetts' T.J. Weeks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
  • Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg supports Massachusetts online sports betting legalization if it does not negatively affect state lottery
  • Goldberg said the state should pursue every revenue stream possible
  • Goldberg noted the state lottery should be available online if online sports betting is legalized

Massachusetts online sports betting legalization has a strong ally in its corner, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect the state’s lottery system.

Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, in a recent interview with WCVB’s “On The Record,” supported the potential legalization of Massachusetts online sports betting as long as the state lottery system is unaffected and also allowed to operate online.

“I think that we should do everything that we can to generate revenue. We don’t know how long federal aid will be coming in. And so it’s a good idea, but it should hold the lottery harmless,” Goldberg said during the interview.

Massachusetts Should Explore All Revenue Streams

The Massachusetts Lottery has been in existence since the 1970s and has provided critical income for many local communities. The state legislatures needs to take this into account, Goldberg said, and follow the lead of casino gaming. When casino gaming was legalized, they took many preventative steps to not impact the state lottery, and Massachusetts online sports betting should do the same if its legalized.

Stay Up to Date With All the Latest Massachusetts Sports Betting News

The lottery is not just a gambling operation, Goldberg said, providing an unrestricted source of funds to every single community in the state.

“If sports betting goes through, and it will be online, they really need to think about how to hold the lottery harmless. Casino gambling did many, many things to support the lottery, understanding that if they did not it would impact lottery sales. I think that when the legislature looks at this, they need to think about how to hold the lottery harmless so it’s an even playing field, or we may face downturns in the lottery for resources that people really have gotten used to using,” she told WCVB.

State lawmakers considered several sports betting bills in 2021, one of which was overwhelmingly approved by the Massachusetts House in July, but nothing has yet to come out the state senate.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Bill On The Table

Bill H.3977 to legalize Massachusetts sports betting was approved by House representatives in July by a vote of 156-3-1. The bill provided for three types of sports betting licenses for casinos, racetracks and untethered online sportsbook operators, but never came to the Senate floor for a vote.

The bill has been sitting in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means since its House approval in July.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is a big proponent of Massachusetts sports betting and even floated his own sports betting bill for adoption in June.

Baker’s bill, HD 70, proposed to legalize online and in-person sports betting to allow the commonwealth to compete with other states.

“Existing Category 1 and Category 2 gaming licensees would be permitted to offer in-person sports wagering at on-site sports wagering lounges and would also be able to provide online-based sports wagering either on their own or in partnership with online gaming operators. This legislation would also allow online sports wagering on websites and mobile applications that are not affiliated with a casino,” Baker wrote in the bill.

Author Image