Gambling revenues are rising as the states collect sports betting, but Massachusetts is still dragging its feet


Sports betting has proven to be a slam dunk that boosted gaming revenue nationwide throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the latest numbers show, but it’s still unclear whether Massachusetts will get its chance to make money when the state Senate passes dragging his feet again.

“Aside from the impact of the pandemic, our industry has been transformed,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, who announced the best quarterly earnings in the gaming industry on Tuesday. “The continuous expansion of sports betting and the growth of online gambling mark a new era for our industry.”

Combined gambling revenues – including sports betting, iGaming, table games and slots – exceeded $ 13.6 billion nationwide.

Commercial gambling has generated nearly $ 25 billion in revenue so far this year – almost as much as all of 2020, well on track to surpass the 2019 record of $ 44 billion in commercial gambling revenue, according to the AGA – Quarterly report.

AGA Research Director David Forman attributed the explosive recovery from the onset of the pandemic to sports betting. Although revenue in the second quarter of $ 889 million was “a little lower” from the first quarter due to the sports calendar, Forman said they increased “very significantly”.

Sports games have increased about 650% since Q2 2019, as 10 states have gone online since then. Sports betting and gaming together accounted for 13% of total sales.

But gambling, which Forman says has “redefined the way Americans see and interact with gambling,” is still struggling to gain a foothold in Massachusetts, despite major online and sports game companies calling Bay State their home.

House MPs voted to legalize sports betting for the second time in so many years last month, but Senate President Karen Spilka has been reluctant to take the initiative.

With the legislature on summer recess until Labor Day, the Ashland Democrat recently told reporters, “This is clearly going to be something that will be up for discussion in the Senate in the fall when we get there.” Whether the bill gets it in the Senate create or not, there was still an “if”, said Spilka.

Disagreements over whether college sport should be allowed resulted in the Senate effectively topping up the proposal by taking no action during the last legislative term.

22 states and the District of Columbia have already started legal sports betting and another 10 have legalized themselves and are waiting to start.

DraftKings, one of the largest sports betting providers in the country, is headquartered in Boston. When it announced a merger with the iGaming titan Golden Nugget on Monday, the company referred to the “pending state legalization and regulatory approvals” of Massachusetts, leaving hope for a future.


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