UMass: No Big Windfall Coming from Massachusetts Sports Betting

The University of Massachusetts and the SEIGMA project for Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts have explained that the Bay State will need to adjust its expectations from the regulation of sports gambling. While sports betting legalization has taken the country by storm, it’s hardly the most lucrative gambling vertical of the ones currently available nationwide.

SEIGMA Says Massachusetts Will Still Get More out of Casinos Than Betting

The same conclusion has been reached by SEIGMA which gave a preliminary assessment of the legalization of industry in the Bay State and its pending launch. Massachusetts is already on its way to launching sports gambling, following approval by the legislature and the backing of Governor Charlie Baker who signed a bill into law. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is currently in the process of creating the licensing conditions and requirements for sports betting.

Research professor and SIGMA principal investigator Rachel Volberg explained that the social and economic impact of sports gambling on Massachusetts will differ. In economic terms, the Bay State can expect anything between $8.6 million and $63 million, but this will once again depend on the sports betting handle, the amount won by operators and the tax rate that will be introduced by the Commission.

Massachusetts already has seen an uptick in online gambling, mostly to do with the legalization of the daily fantasy sports segment, which indicates that there is a strong interest and demand for sports gambling. It still remains to be seen how well local Daily Fantasy Sports fans will take the regulated sports gambling sector and whether they will indeed show interest given the other gambling verticals in the state.

Betting Will Still Be an Important Net Benefit to Casinos in the Bay State

However, chances are that sports gambling will pick up rapidly as soon as it’s introduced as there is no way for Massachusetts residents to wager online other than through Daily Fantasy Sports right now. In the meantime, Commission chair Cathy Judd-Stein welcomed the report by UMass. The report, Judd-Stein said, will help the Commission to better calibrate the upcoming sports gambling industry and see how to better maximize the windfall for the state.

Regardless, casinos are likely to remain the main driver of revenue. Then again, Massachusetts is not very likely to press on with the legalization of iGaming options for the time being. The Commission will remain focused on rolling in the sports betting segment in a sustainable and responsible manner in the meantime.

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