When Massachusetts lawmakers recently approved a bill regulating sports betting, their hope was that operators could be licensed and online before the start of the 2022 football season. But their hopes have collided with reality and it appears that Boston bettors will have to wait until at least next season before placing their first legal sports wager.
The biggest problem facing lawmakers and operators who are rushing towards America’s most lucrative betting season is that the legal framework simply hasn’t been put into place. That point was made painfully clear at a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) when regulators found they couldn’t move regulated sports betting forward because they simply couldn’t do much until the governor signed the sports betting legislation into law.
In statements reported on by SBC Americas, MGC Commissioner Bradford Hill tamped down expectations for a football season saying, “I’m trying to think if I want to make a comment now or wait to the end after the presentation, but since you’ve asked, I want the public to understand, as we as commissioners are starting to understand, that this isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. And I think our public needs to understand that there is going to be a process that we need to go through not only with licensing, but certifying those who come before us for suitability and things of that sort. And that just doesn’t happen overnight.”
Hill’s fellow commissioners were in agreement about the realities of getting anything going before football season. Governor Charlie Baker is expected to sign the sports betting bill into law this week, a process that will set into motion the process for building a legal framework for regulated sports betting.