Online Gambling Slips Further and Further Away From MassachusettsPublished May 21, 2017 by Elana K
A special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports is scheduled to present its findings to the Massachusetts legislature by July 31. However, Senate President Stan Rosenberg is not optimistic.
It seems that 2017 will not be the year that Massachusetts legalizes online gambling. Senate President Stan Rosenberg recently commented in an interview on Boston Herald Radio that the state is not yet ready to regulate online gambling, or the lottery, for that matter. He did say, however, that the state could “potentially act next year.”
The reason for this delay, according to Rosenberg, is that lawmakers are unsure of how to implement online gambling and online lottery sales without harming their land-based counterparts.
The fact that New Jersey online gambling has not harmed its traditional Atlantic City casinos (in fact, quite the opposite), it’s just not enough of a reassurance for Massachusetts state lawmakers.
Online Gambling Supporters Not Happy
Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who has been one of the driving forces behind Massachusett’s online gambling endeavor, cautioned that the Senate’s inaction is simply a lost opportunity. If online gambling is something that will be legalized in the future, why not do it now, and not miss out on a year or two of revenue?
Goldberg and other online gambling supporters don’t see online gambling as a replacement for land-based casinos. Rather, they’ve taken note of what’s been happening in New Jersey for the past three and a half years, and how online casinos have actually breathed new life into the state’s brick and mortar ones.
Lottery Commissioner Anthony Salvidio added his two cents and said, “What is it going to take for legislators to realize this, a complete collapse of the revenue of the Lottery before they get on this?” In other words, lawmakers are scared that online lottery sales might detract from traditional lottery sales - but these are the very thing that are in danger.
Is It All Over?
Nothing is final yet. A special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports is scheduled to present its findings to the legislature by July 31. However, Rosenberg’s comments do not leave room for much hope.