Public Weighs in on Massachusetts Sports Betting Bill

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Day 3 of a hearing to determine whether sports betting should be legalized in Massachusetts residents joined municipal officials to provide their feedback.

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No decision was reached from the committee hearing Wednesday, but lawmakers are in the process of reviewing three days worth of testimony before coming to a final vote.

Delaware North, the $3 billion company whose chairman Jeremy Jacobs owns the Boston Bruins and chairs the NHL Board of Governors, supports legalized sports betting in the state but has abandoned its quest to serve as a mobile sports betting provider due to conflicts of interest concerns.

“We view sports wagering as a great opportunity for us to engage fans and get the casual fan interested in sports in a new way,” Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden, initially stated in prepared testimony prior to lawmakers objecting. “We understand gaming, sports and the customer, and Delaware North would like the ability to participate as a sports wagering provider.”

“So if I buy a ticket and I go into the Garden and I’m watching the Bruins and I’m operating a sports betting app from my phone, what you’re asking for is to be able to own all three,” Sen. Eric Lesser asked Latimer.

Delaware North later said they would be content with simply partnering with an established mobile operator.

Speaker Robert DeLeo says he wants the bill brought to the House floor for a vote.

Rhode Island is the only New England state to offer sports betting.  Since its two casinos in Tiverton and Lincoln launched limited-offer sportsbooks, gamblers have placed $94 million in wagers.  Rhode Island sports betting prohibits certain popular bets such as parlays.

The target for next fiscal year, $22.7 million, was recently set at a revenue estimating conference. A consultant told the state to expect closer to $15 million.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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