Mass. Residents Visiting New Hampshire To Place Super Bowl Bets

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BOSTON (State House News Service) — The lack of legal sports betting hasn't stopped Massachusetts bettors from getting a little skin in the big game.

With the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals set to square off in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday night, DraftKings - the Boston-based online sports betting company - says that as of Thursday morning 26 percent of all its bettors wagering on the game in New Hampshire had Massachusetts addresses.

Sports betting is now legal in more than two dozen states, including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Data on bets being placed in other neighboring states through DraftKings was not available.

In New Hampshire, bettors must be physically present in the state to wager online, meaning Massachusetts residents are traveling north of the border to wager some money on the game, even without the New England Patriots or Tom Brady competing.

On Beacon Hill, Gov. Charlie Baker has urged lawmakers to keep pace with neighboring states and legalize sports betting, and the House for the second straight session has passed legislation to do so. Senate President Karen Spilka has so far declined to surface the bill for debate and questioned whether there is enough support in her chamber.

Spilka's office could not be reached for comment Friday on Bay Staters going out-of-state to bet on the Super Bowl, but House Speaker Ron Mariano said Massachusetts is missing out on an opportunity to cash in on one of the world's biggest sporting events.

"Massachusetts is surrounded by states that have jumped at the opportunity to legalize sports betting, but Massachusetts residents must still cross state lines to participate," Mariano said in a statement.

"The House has repeatedly passed legislation that would not only legalize sports betting but also direct the estimated $70-80 million in initial licensing fees and $60 million in annual tax revenue towards investments in our workforce, youth development, and local aid. We have a real opportunity to take long overdue action. We shouldn't waste it any longer," the speaker said.

Written by Matt Murphy/SHNS

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