Watch CBS News

Massachusetts House Votes To Legalize Sports Betting

BOSTON (CBS) - House lawmakers in Massachusetts Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of what they say is a home run: legal sports betting.

"We think it's a big boost and a big boom for the Commonwealth," said Representative Jerry Parisella D-Beverly.

It's already allowed in more than 30 states, including most of our northeast neighbors.

"Now people can bet in Rhode Island and New Hampshire; Connecticut and New York have legalized sports betting. It's all around us. Massachusetts is passionate about sports. Let's take advantage of it," Parisella said.

This House bill which would allow betting on professional and college sports, could bring in more than $60 million dollars in tax revenue every year, plus another $70 million in licensing fees.

"We're going to get those tax dollars and make sure we put them to good use and try and stimulate all 351 cities and towns," said Rep. David Muradian R-Grafton.

The industry would also create jobs in Massachusetts. Many fans wonder what's taken so long.

"It's a matter of when, not if I think. Draft Kings has gained so much popularity. Why go to the casino legally but not be able to bet on a sports game?" said one Red Sox fan outside Fenway Park.

The legislation must provide some consumer protections.

"Prohibiting the use of a credit card. We don't want people overextending themselves unnecessarily. That's an easy regulation they can put in. We want to make sure there are strong prohibitions for persons under 21, that's particularly important if people are placing bets online," explained Phil Sherwood of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health.

Senate lawmakers must approve the legislation before Governor Charlie Baker - who supports the expansion - signs off.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.