Momentum seems to be shifting toward legalized sports betting in Massachusetts.

As multiple other states launch sports betting, fans in Boston, and throughout the state, have been waiting to use platforms like BetMGM Massachusetts. Before that can happen, legislation will have to be passed and officials will need to set everything up for a successful launch.

With the state offering so much sports action for fans to wager on, there’s plenty of reason for excitement. So will Boston sports fans be able to legally bet in Massachusetts this year?

Lawmakers Meeting Over Betting Legislation

There’s currently no clear answer on when sports betting will be legalized in Massachusetts. The good news for prospective bettors, though, is that sports gambling is currently on the table for local politicians.

State lawmakers have been at work, recently addressing sports betting legislation. Both the House and Senate have passed sports betting bills, but officials are now in negotiations concerning the legislation after disagreeing on issues such as allowing wagers on college sports.

“We’ll work very hard to get this for the governor as soon and as quickly as possible, and know that the entirety of my team is here to help you and your team to achieve that goal,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues told the lead negotiator for the House, Rep. Jerald Parisella, according to MassLive.

It’s still unclear, though, how lawmakers will move past the differences in the House and Senate bills, of which there are several.

“We don’t know what the negotiations are about right now,” Katie Lannan of State House News Service said, according to CBS Boston. “But there’s lots of other differences between the two bills as well. The tax rate is different, the Senate has more restrictions in their proposal. 

“So there’s a lot of things that might be a dealbreaker for one branch or the other that might be wrapped up in this.”

There’s certainly momentum for a deal on sports betting legislation to get done as soon as possible. That would be a win for supporters, as the legislation would be that much closer to being signed into law.

Of course, officials would then have to work on setting everything up for launch. Based on what has been seen in other states, the process would likely include determining rules and regulations, accepting applications for and granting licenses, and much more. There’s no timetable for how long that could all take, adding another question mark to when sports betting will ultimately launch in Massachusetts.

The fact that legislators are actively meeting to nail down sports betting legislation is a good sign that things are on the right track, though. With still half of the calendar year remaining, there’s certainly a chance sports betting could be up and running by year’s end, but it all depends on how fast politicians and officials work to make it happen.

What Teams Could Fans Bet On?

Boston is one of the country’s major sports cities, so bettors will have their pick of local sports teams to wager on once sports betting is legalized and launched.

The Boston Celtics are one of the NBA’s hottest teams, having lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Their future looks incredibly bright under coach Ime Udoka and a talented roster that will return to the court next season hungry for more.

“We’re young … Things we went through to get here showed us what we have to come for us in the future,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said, according to The Associated Press. “I think that’s why we’re confident about the future. We all know what the goal is in the future.”

In the MLB, not many teams boast as much history and tradition as the Boston Red Sox, who are making a comeback after starting this season off slowly. With some of the most passionate fans in the game and a roster consistently filled with top-tier talent, wagers are sure to come in on the Red Sox once Massachusetts sports betting is open.

The Boston Bruins are a premier organization in the NHL. They finished this season with nearly twice as many wins and losses and are currently searching for a new head coach, so to say excitement surrounds the franchise would be an understatement.

Residents should be excited, too, that once sports betting launches in Massachusetts, special promotions involving local teams are sure to be available, making the experience that much better for Boston sports fans.