Mass. Gaming Commission meets to discuss next steps for sports betting – Western Massachusetts News

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Work began Thursday to put regulations in place for legalized sports betting in the Bay State, one day after Governor Charlie Baker signed it into law. The big question now is when can people start placing bets on their sports teams in Massachusetts.
“Our work with ultimate licensees will be swift and thorough and we will keep everyone, all stakeholders and the public, apprised every step of the way. We know that you are all eager for an exact timeline and development for that is responsibly underway,” said Mass. Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein.
On Thursday, the gaming commission got down to business and discussed their plan of action to adopt regulations for the newly passed sports betting law in Massachusetts.
“In an effort to really expedite the implementation of this and make sure we’re doing it correctly, we are going to be looking at some assistance on regulation development,” said Mass. Gaming Commission Executive Director Karen Wells.
Sports betting is something that State Representative Orlando Ramos strongly supports.
“We’re talking millions of dollars in tax revenue, millions of dollars in licensing fees that will come to the taxpayers and create more revenue for the Commonwealth,” Ramos said.
Once regulations are in place, retail sports betting will be allowed at the three state casinos, including MGM Springfield, and two racetracks. Ramos told Western Mass News that he filed an amendment to the sports wagering bill to allow local bars and restaurants the opportunity to participate.
“The bill, as written, calls for a study to be conducted by a commission that will be created over the next couple of weeks and that commission will come up with recommendations as to how to implement that, so that bars and restaurants will have the opportunity to profit from this multi-million-dollar industry,” Ramos added.
He told us that a lot of small businesses in Springfield are interested in participating.
“One of the options would be to have kiosks at bars and restaurants to allow in-person betting for people who are at the restaurant or bar. Those kiosks will be in partnership with a casino or a sports app, which will still allow them to create revenue, but also give businesses the opportunity to offer in-person sports betting at their location,” Ramos explained.
As for when he expects sports betting to officially launch in the Bay State, Ramos noted, “I’m hopeful that we will be ready by Super Bowl and by March Madness because those are the two major sports events of the year that create a lot of bets on sports, so I’m hopeful we’ll be ready by then, so people can enjoy this new industry.”
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