Luck Favors the Prepared [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Recently, Governor Charlie Baker called on state lawmakers to legalize sports betting. It would bring in about $35 to $60 million in new revenue with the allowance of online sports betting. Allowing sports gambling only in brick-and-mortar casinos alone would only net between $8 to $15 million annually.
My bet is that we'll get sports betting, but who would oversee it? What restrictions, if any, would be put in place? A lot of discussion is going on right now and a lot of questions are being raised, and since this is a complex industry, the lawmakers will be taking their time before reaching a decision.
When the state passed legislation to regulate daily fantasy sports in 2016, a nine-member committee was formed to study gambling. Boston-based DraftKings is ardently lobbying for sports gambling, as are other groups.
Online gambling is a major source of debate. It's possible that the lawmakers vote to legalize betting, but restricts it to live betting and the state's new brick-and-mortar casinos. Also, from what I could find, there's no plan to restrict sports betting on our very successful pro teams like the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. Rhode Island bookmakers took a huge hit on the last Super Bowl win for the Patriots that has set them back financially. That loss has generated talk on Beacon Hill, too.
I'm feeling positive about the odds of legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts sometime this year. In fact, I'd be willing to bet on it.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.