Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings has joined forces with an influential technology industry association in urging lawmakers to allow sports betting in Massachusetts.
The Boston Herald reported that DraftKings and the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) have thrown their support behind the regulation of sports betting in the state, arguing that the new industry will be a boon for the tech sector.
Mark Gallagher, vice president of policy and governmental affairs for MHTC, said it is likely for sports betting operators to tap the ancillary services of the state’s tech sector to ensure that the games are secured and reliable. These services include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, according to Gallagher.
“This is very much a technology business,” Gallagher said, according to the news outlet. “Over the coming months we certainly expect to be engaged with policymakers around that.”
In May, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby backed calls for sports betting regulation in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the federal betting ban. Crosby joined regulators from Louisiana, Michigan, and Nevada in expressing support for a system of regulations targeting the sports betting industry and endorsed a list of guidelines for states to follow.
Although he is intrigued by the possibilities that regulated sports betting would bring to the state, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker believes that the legalization of sports wagering in his state will not happen this year.
However, Baker expects the legwork for drafting a sports betting bill to happen in the coming months since “it is an issue that the state ought to take.” Baker estimated that legal sports betting in Massachusetts would be up and running in 2019.
“I think it would be very hard for us to go from zero to 100 mph in the course of 40 days when there’s so much other stuff in front of the Legislature,” Baker said.
The reluctance of Massachusetts to tackle sports betting this year has given professional sports leagues the perfect opportunity to lobby for the inclusion of an integrity fee in the state’s future sports betting bill. Baker confirmed that he had met with different professional sports organizations over the past few weeks.