OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Sports Betting in Massachusetts
The Supreme Court may allow betting on sports in states like Massachusetts and New Jersey due to a lawsuit by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
There are billions of dollars wagered illegally across America on football, boxing, soccer, tennis and other sports. The gamblers bet on professional and college sports within an illegal and untaxed market that is managed by organized crime syndicates.
Massachusetts long ago took over the daily lottery that had been build up by organized crime. The goal was to defund criminal enterprises that used the tremendous cash profits to fund other crimes and to generate revenue for the government. The government would use the new funds to hire lottery employees and to fund education and the other legitimate functions of government.
Over the years the state has expanded their legal gambling operations into scratch tickets, Keno, and multi-state lotteries with eye-popping jackpots in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The ship has sailed on how the state and the public feel about gambling in Massachusetts.
The state has continued to capitalize on the potential of gambling revenues with the introduction of casinos. The process has been a roller coaster but the goal was always the same: bring in revenue for the government. Today the state has a functioning slots parlor and two full casinos under construction at each end of the commonwealth.
The state should absolutely move to legalize gambling on sports if the Supreme Court agrees it is legal. There are tremendous sums of money flowing into the coffers of organized crime from Massachusetts residents who gamble on sports.
The important decisions on sports betting are now within the realm of how best to regulate, tax and educate the consumer. The public has accepted the idea of the state as the local bookmaker. The only question is who gets to join the state as a partner in the profits.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. Email: Chris.McCarthy@Townsquaremedia.com