Large Step Taken Toward Legal Sports Betting at MGM Springfield

By Adam Haynes in Laws and Regulation
| August 4, 2022 9:12 am PDT
  • MGM Springfield’s purpose-built sports betting lounge is hoping to provide bettors in Massachusetts with a legal gambling parlor.
  • The purpose-built premises was unveiled in 2021, despite legal sports betting in Massachusetts still waiting for a bill on betting to be passed. 
  • Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign the bill into law following an agreement by the state Legislature.

Gamblers in Massachusetts could soon be weighing up their options.

While some are already wagering on sports with US betting sites, gambling on sports at brick-and-mortar establishments is not far off.

In Springfield, just a 90-minute drive from Boston, patrons will be able to wager at the MGM Springfield Sports Lounge. This multi-million-dollar gambling arena is preparing to provide bettors with a venue to do just that. 

On August 1, state legislators arrived at an agreement to authorize sports betting in Massachusetts. This includes the likes of professional basketball, football, and even some college sports. 

Here’s what we know about MGM Springfield Sports Lounge as well as the lifting of the ban on sports betting in the commonwealth. 

What is the MGM Springfield Sports Lounge? 

On August 24, 2022, MGM Springfield will celebrate its fifth anniversary. 

While it’s a tad optimistic to expect their state-of-the-art sportsbook to be fully functional by then, bettors are looking forward to placing wagers at the in-house kiosks at some point before the end of the year.

The sports lounge for them is ready to go.Featuring a 45-foot HD viewing wall, over 70 seats for bettors, and a bar that serves food, MGM bosses are just waiting for the green light to fire things up.

Located on the main casino floor, players will be able to bet on a variety of different sporting events. From the Super Bowl to the World Series, anyone permitted to gamble can test their luck.

Once the ban on gambling on sports in the state is lifted, of course.

When Will Legal Sports Betting Be Available in Massachusetts?

State legislators have been working hard on passing sports betting in the state.

On Monday, a compromise agreement by Beacon Hill lawmakers was reached on a bill that would authorize legal sports betting. Although some creases must be ironed out before it is passed, things are certainly looking positive. Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano were at loggerheads in recent times regarding certain aspects of the bill, although it was always unlikely that any issues would protract things.

The bill has passed both chambers, making Massachusetts the 31st state (plus Washington D.C.) to provide legal gambling on sports. Gov. Charlie Baker, who has previously thrown his weight behind the legalization of sports betting in the commonwealth, 

is expected to put ink to paper.

Following Monday’s news, MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley released a positive statement.

“We are thrilled the state Legislature reached an agreement to create a safe, regulated, and legalized sports betting environment for Bay State residents and look forward to Governor Baker signing the bill. This new industry will allow Massachusetts to repatriate the revenue and jobs currently being lost to neighboring states and the illegal betting market.We look forward to providing local sports fans an immersive, world-class sports watching and betting experience in our sports lounge along with a VIP viewing area within TAP Sports Bar.”

Gov. Baker has 10 days from the point of notice to act on the legislation. 

However, there is more to legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts than signing on the dotted line.

For MGM Springfield to open its sportsbook to the public, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission must grant a license to the company; this can only happen once the commission has its plans set for regulating and enforcing legal wagers.

Betting on Sports in Massachusetts 

Although gambling on sports inside state lines is still illegal, many citizens of the commonwealth still travel to nearby states to place bets.

Others choose to wager with Massachusetts online gambling sites that are based offshore. In-state providers are subject to pending legislation, which means they cannot provide bettors with sportsbook offerings.

Until the bill is signed off and all t’s are crossed, so to speak, things will remain as they were before Monday’s hearing.

If you are based in the state, that means online sites are your best option. Unless you are heading across state lines to bet, that is.

It won’t be long before Massachusetts legalizes sports betting. It appears that it is now just a matter of time. That also applies to online gambling. The question is, who’s next? And more pertinently, what other states could legalize online gambling in 2022?

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