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Massachusetts Governor Candidate Wants Sports Betting

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/03/2009
Christy Mihos

The Boston Herald this past weekend reported that yet another state might consider legalizing sports betting, following in the steps of Delaware and New Jersey.  But first a new Governor would have to be elected into office.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos wants the state to legalize wagers on professional and college sports, saying the industry could boost the sagging state Lottery and flush cities and towns with over $1 billion annually, according to the Herald report.

"We could do this very quickly and solve the revenue problem," Mihos, a convenience store magnate, told the News Service on Friday.

He claimed that Massachusetts averages $829 per capita spending on the state Lottery, far above states like New Jersey.  Mihos also believes that sports betting can generate $400 billion.

The Commonwealth would have to join a federal suit seeking exemption from the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which grandfathered sports betting in Oregon, Delaware, Montana and Nevada - although Nevada is the only state that currently has legal sports gambling. Jai alai, horse and dog racing were waivered, according to the Herald. 

There will be obstacles standing in the way.  Already the Department of Justice is trying to prevent New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine, from participating in the suit while the major sports leagues have sued the state of Delaware.

Corzine announced in early June he would join the suit filed by the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA).

The federal government's prohibition on sports betting for some but not all states is fundamentally unfair," Governor Corzine said. "There should be uniformity in the application of federal law. If one state is allowed to legalize betting on sports events, all states should be allowed the same opportunity."

A court was expected to rule as early as today (August 3) whether Corzine could participate in the suit.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher         

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