(Image from bostonherald.com)

It has been a very big year in the US for punters seeking out news about the possibility of changing sports betting regulation, with some being greeted with the good news they didn’t think they would – whether it comes from neighbouring states with legal NY sports betting just around the corner or states a little further out with the likes of WV sports betting, it’s something certainly becoming much more accessible. Massachusetts lawmakers are now eyeing up making changes of their own and have been in talks for a number of years, but what reasons are being cited as the most important, and will MA be able to potentially welcome legal sports betting in the near future? 

Other states have been citing the big reason behind the change coming from the huge potential for economic recovery, and whilst the numbers vary from state to state it has been suggested that with the difficulties seen over the past eighteen months and still ongoing, legalising sports betting and gambling could be a viable solution to not only providing economic recovery but also by providing those out of work with new jobs in a booming industry that has seen nothing but growth. 

It’s often cited that gambling is happening anyway too, and it doesn’t even need to be illegal as players simply travel across the border as information is often revealed about players with out of state addresses, DraftKings for example has shown that 30% of the company’s sports bettors in New Hampshire in 2020 actually had Massachusetts home addresses. The ban current status of sports betting being illegal doesn’t lessen the desire to play, it just leads to punters finding alternatives to get around the laws. 

Back in 2018 the US Supreme Court ruled that nationwide prohibition of betting and gambling activity was unconstitutional, and it was up to each state individually if they wanted to change and legalise the activity, and with 30 states now making the change it certainly does place at least a little pressure on the other states to do the same particularly when betting remains quite common even in states where it isn’t yet legal. Outright opposition to the change isn’t that common but the voice for legalisation is very high, and with one of the biggest sports betting companies in the US being founded in Watertown and a head office in Boston, there’s frustration that their services can’t be expanded simply because of current legalisation rules. 

It’s tough to know whether or not change will come and even if it does there are lots of decisions to be made about which sports may be restricted such as those at the collegiate level as other states have done, but that’s a talk for once legalisation does happen.