Business Trade Group Joins MA Sports Betting Push As Deadline Nears

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MA sports betting

The largest business association in MA wants the state to pass its stalled sports betting bill by Sunday’s legislative deadline. 

On Tuesday, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) sent a letter to state policymakers in the House and Senate supporting the legalization and regulation of sports betting in Massachusetts. 

AIM’s board of directors include executives from corporations like TD Bank, Microsoft, Amazon and Verizon.

“It is our hope the compromise you are considering will be finalized this session,” the letter reads. 

College betting remains conference obstacle

To pass this year, Massachusetts legislators would have to approve a sports betting bill by the end of regular session Sunday. Each chamber passed its own version but a conference committee continues to work on compromise.

One major divide between the sides centers on college sports betting. As of now, the House wants it while the Senate doesn’t. 

“We have heard from every single college president and all the athletic directors begging us to not include college betting in these bills, that it is not a good thing,” Senate President Karen Spilka said in an interview on Boston radio Tuesday.

Projections estimate legal college betting could add $25-$35 million in annual revenues.  Other states including New York and New Jersey have in-state college betting bans in place. 

State business entities want legal MA sports betting

The AIM letter specified the potential financial boom that legalized sports betting would bring to the state. 

“A recent estimate by the gaming analytics firm Eilers & Krejcik finds that total revenues from legalized sports wagering in Massachusetts could reach $565 million annually,” the letter reads.

“In addition to the direct, taxable revenue that legalized sports betting will bring to Massachusetts, positive spillover effects will impact other industries as well. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and other retail establishments stand to gain from the increased economic activity, spend, and fan engagement that legalized sports betting generates around games and sporting, especially high-profile events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness.” 

Executives from three Massachusetts casinos previously sent a joint letter to state policymakers. In June, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Western Mass Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau also sent similar letters urging passage.