VB The Wise: Sports Gambling in Boston

Sports Gambling in MA

What could possibly go wrong?

Sports Betting - Getty Images

Image Source: Getty Images

How telling was it that when asked to comment on the SCOTUS decision giving sports gambling decision-making back to the states Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo said,” There are a couple of key questions. One is integrity… then there’s the issue of revenue.” Hmm, which one is more important to the speaker? Hmmm…. That was then followed up by, “Can it be done this session? Yeah, I imagine it could.” And there goes integrity!

Look, let’s forget for a second that a. summer’s coming and b. this is an election year. Has this state not proven that where’s there’s money to be had, a. the state wants it and b. it’ll screw up the process of getting that money. “C’mon VB” you say? Allow me to introduce as evidence casinos. Deleo himself sponsored the gaming bill that led to MA having two casinos. He sponsored that legislation in 2011. It’s May of 2018, and neither casino is open yet. (The slot parlor in Plainville is.) Seven years. How about Pot? In November 2016 voters passed legalized marijuana. In May 2018 there is nary a pot dispensary to be found. In fact, it turns out several companies were told they’d been approved to build said dispensaries, only to be told later that they were actually rejected, but that there had been a “clerical error”.

The reality is that Massachusetts is awful at this stuff. And this legislature in particular is awful at this stuff. And yet there’s Speaker DeLeo saying, “Yeah, I imagine it could.” He’s right, I imagine legalized sports betting could get done this legislative session. In fact, I imagine it will get done this legislative session, as the money will simply be too enticing. However, just because it gets done doesn’t mean it gets done right. Wouldn’t you love to be the oddsmaker assigned to setting the over/under on whether the legislature can get it done RIGHT this session? I’m guessing there’s not a bookie around who’d take that action.

More wisdom next week.


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