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DraftKings And Massachusetts Casino Trio Plan For Legalized Sports Betting

Sports betting in Las Vegas

The fledgling Massachusetts casino industry and one of the state’s most popular startups stand to get a boost from Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for states to make their own laws legalizing sports betting. 

Massachusetts law does not allow sports wagers, but the federal ruling could push state lawmakers to act quickly on a measure. The operators of Plainridge Park Casino as well as the Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, both under construction, have expressed interest in sports betting and expect to talk to lawmakers about its feasibility, the Boston Globe reports

Depending on availability and tax rates, sports betting could generate between $8.6M and $61.3M in tax revenue for Massachusetts, according to a February Massachusetts Gaming Commission report.

Boston-based fantasy sports startup DraftKings indicated in a memo to its members it was poised to succeed with sports betting. The company, which is moving its headquarters from downtown Boston to Back Bay, began taking steps to quickly enter the industry as soon as the Supreme Court announced in June it would hear New Jersey’s challenge to the federal law banning sports betting, the Boston Herald reports. DraftKings opened an office in the Garden State and has discussed potential partnerships with several casinos there.

“For almost a year now, it’s been a very key part of what we’ve been focused on,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said to the Herald. “We’ve had a very large percentage of our team focused on this.”

He indicated several states are pushing to legalize sports betting in time for the 2018 NFL season. While he felt Massachusetts was not as far along as New Jersey’s legalization efforts, there have been discussions within the Bay State. 

“We’ve certainly had some discussions with lawmakers in Massachusetts. There’s an ongoing effort to look at the issue there,” Robins said to the Herald. “Now that there’s a decision that’s been issued, we’ll expect to see a ramp up in that discussion.”