Legalized Sports activities Playing in MA? Lawmakers to Hear Testimony Thursday – NBC Boston

Massachusetts lawmakers will examine nearly 20 sports betting-related bills during a virtual hearing Thursday.

The Joint Committee on Economic Development and New Technologies will hold a virtual hearing at 10 a.m. to hear testimony from, among others, Jerry York, Boston College men’s ice hockey coach. The most successful active college hockey coach will testify on behalf of BC and its position in strong opposition to college athletics betting.

Sports betting enthusiasts have complained that Massachusetts has not yet legalized betting, but others say insufficient attention has been paid to the social costs of further expanding gambling.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the near-nationwide ban on sports betting was unconstitutional and allowed states the ability to legalize the activity. The Massachusetts legislature initially showed a desire to move quickly, but the issue has not increased significantly in any of the last two sessions.

At least 26 other states, including the neighboring states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and New York, have already given players permission to place legal sports bets.

Most Massachusetts voters have already made a decision to legalize sports betting, and 61 percent of the state strongly support the idea or something, according to a poll commissioned by Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor.

The slot machine salon and casino, both of which have stated that they would love to get into the world of sports betting if Massachusetts legalized it, said the poll of 500 registered voters in Massachusetts found 32 percent of respondents said sports betting was strong and another 29 percent Percent more likely to support it.

Ten percent of respondents said they are somewhat opposed to the legalization of sports betting, and 14 percent said they strongly oppose it. Undecided respondents made up 15 percent of the answers.

Governor Charlie Baker, whose newest sports betting bill (H 70) is on the market, has repeatedly put about $ 35 million in sports betting revenue into his budget.

At the last meeting in May 2019, the Economic Development Committee heard witness testimony about legal betting for two days, but the idea never gained momentum. The House of Representatives legalized betting as part of an economic development bill, but the Senate never really looked into the issue and Senate leaders suggested that the industry just wasn’t that interested.

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