Illegal Sports Betting Ring in Massachusetts Highlights Need for LegalizationPublished December 26, 2018 by Elana K
Massachusetts’ recent sports betting scandal highlights how legalizing sports betting can actually help prevent illegal sports betting, and subsequently, provide consumers with a high level of protection.
Nine people in Massachusetts have been indicted for running a large-scale illegal sports betting and money laundering scheme. Among the nine are members of the Hillson family of Melrose, who authorities allege were taking illegal sports bets over the phone from their home.
The to main operators, Lon Hillson Sr. and his son, Lonnie Hillson, Jr., were indicted by a statewide grand jury on a neat package of charges, including promoting gambling, bet registration, gambling by phone, conspiracy to register bets, and attempted extortion. Others were indicted on lesser, but similar, charges.
The Case for Legalizing Sports Betting
Since the Supreme Court repealed PASPA in May of this year, it has become legal for states to offer sports betting, and nearly ten have already passed legislation. Massachusetts’ recent sports betting scandal highlights how legalizing sports betting can actually help prevent illegal sports betting, and subsequently, provide consumers with a high level of protection.
Moreover, sports betting is a multi-million dollar industry that could bring in much-needed revenue to state coffers.
MGM Resorts of Springfield, Massachusetts will reportedly begin pushing legal sports betting to state lawmakers. MGM President Mike Mathis has stated that “We plan on tackling [sports betting] with the legislature right after the first of the year and we've been doing some of the prep work for that."
Mathis has some fairly strong support behind him; the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has estimated that sports betting could generate millions in tax revenue for the state.
Draftkings, the Boston-based fantasy sports company, is also a vocal supporter of legalized sports betting in Massachusetts, and state governor Charlie Baker has said he’s willing to consider it.