Massachusetts sports betting bill rejected by the Senate

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With less than a day to go until the legislative session in Massachusetts ends, the Senate has removed language related to sports betting in the state’s economic recovery package. 

The bill had included the regulation of the vertical – both on and offline – to help the state close a sizeable projected budget deficit. 

But while the House passed the legislation, the Senate opted not to do so and also removed language related to online lottery. 

The legislative session in Massachusetts ends today. 

“The time is not now” 

Massachusetts’ economic development plan intends to limit the damage caused by COVID-19. The package expected to be worth $455 million. 

For the time being, however, it looks like sports betting will have to wait before it can help that. The Senate’s amendments removed all language related to its regulation, which would have extended across web, mobile and land. 

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Michael Rodrigues believes it’s for the best that the Bay State focuses its attention elsewhere. 

“As it relates to sports gaming, sports wagering, I believe that certainly the time is close when we are going to be tackling this issue, but the time is not now,” he said. 

“Nor is this the proper vehicle to do so in.” 

Sports betting in Massachusetts might get another chance this year 

The economic recovery package needs to be passed by the end of today. This means that if sports betting is not included, then legislators will have to try again at another time. 

Sen. Eric Lesser has said that he would like sports betting to be passed into law at some stage this year. However, he believes that priorities need to be elsewhere at the moment. 

He said the following. 

“This specific bill on this specific day, which we pointed out earlier in our session when debate began is about an emergency response economically to the coronavirus depression that we find ourselves in.

“At this specific moment, we need to hold.”