Published: June 20, 2022

Will Massachusetts lawmakers finally find a sports betting solution?

BOSTON – The countdown is on as Massachusetts lawmakers enter the final six weeks of the legislative session. So will sports betting finally make it across the finish line?

The House and Senate have both passed their own versions of sports betting bill, and representatives from each chamber are making their case in conference committee.

WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller talked about state of the negotiations with Katie Lannan and Matty Murphy of State House News Service.

There are differences of opinion on what should be included in a potential bill that lands on Gov. Charlie Baker's desk. One example – the Senate does not want people to be able to wager on college sports, while the House does.

"We don't know what the negotiations are about right now," Lannan said. "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."

Though sports betting reaching this point in negotiations brings some optimism, Murphy said the sides reaching an agreement is no sure bet.

"(The Senate) made it as restrictive as they possibly could," Murphy said. "Limiting advertising during games to not entice people. The college sports betting thing of course we've heard you're basically encouraging people to stay in the black market if they can't bet on the professional sports and the college sports at the same time. Why stretch yourself across multiple platforms if you're interested in college sports? It'll be interesting to see where this one goes and if they can get it across the finish line."

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.