Encore Boston Harbor, one of the very few land-based casinos in Massachusetts reported an amazing increase in profitability in August and the first half of September while other states see a downfall in revenue.
Although most of the services provided by Encore Boston Harbor, the casino has relatively mentioned that the virtual sports betting that they offer in the venue has been getting more and more attention from football fans lately.
The venue managers have been heard saying that the NFL season always adds a lot more customers to the venue as people want to somehow experience betting on their favorite teams. Seeing how the New England Patriots have been dominating nearly every year, it’s quite easy to understand that fans want to somehow capitalize on the effectiveness of their favorite teams.
Is this a clear sign to the local government?
As of this moment, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission does not recognize sports betting as legal tender and will prosecute any and all citizens should they engage in any similar activity. Because of this, people from Boston, or from the state itself are forced to travel to nearby states and bet there. This contributes to the outflow of funds from the state, but the economy remains a bit more stable on the federal level.
Regardless though, the Massachusetts government receives much less in taxable income and therefore has fewer opportunities to re-invest it into infrastructure or pretty much any other sector within the state.
Can the law be maintained?
The performance of Encore Boston Harbor is a testimony that gaming is rampant in the state and it’s definitely not going to go anywhere. The government might as well allow sports betting which will most likely be utilized only during NFL, NHL and NBA seasons.
Keeping it within the ramifications of the law is inviting Bostoners and other residents of the state of Massachusetts to find alternative ways to bet on their favorite teams without having to drive for hours just to cross the border.
A similar case can be found almost anywhere in the world where betting is heavily controlled by the government or is outlawed completely.
One such example is the increasing number of Norwegian online betting websites who are starting to accept payments without having to identify the customers. This is done in order to provide the services, without crossing the law too much.
As it’s already known, Norway prohibits any private venture in the betting industry and keeps it very firmly in the hands of a state-owned enterprise.
Representatives of those sportsbooks have mentioned time and time again that there is no lack of customers no matter how much the regulation is tightened. People any means possible to access these platforms. Be it through a VPN network, cryptocurrency payments that cannot be traced or just direct access in the hopes that the firewall doesn’t activate.
What will the Massachusetts government do?
At this point, there are no real advancements in popularizing the idea of legal sports betting in the state, no matter how economically feasible it may be.
In fact, many have called it a step backward or a disaster in the brewing. States all across the nation are starting to reconsider their laws about prohibiting honest gaming hobbies after they realize that people will do it anyway.
In the end, having a state’s population spend money on legal betting elsewhere is much worse than having them spend it locally in regulated and licensed enterprises.
It is very likely that by the end of this NFL season, we will see a lot of talks start about sports betting legalization in the Massachusetts house of representatives.