Legal sports betting will need to wait after an amendment to the Massachusetts annual budget was rejected Wednesday by the state senate.
The amendment would have allowed brick-and-mortar and online operators to begin applying for licenses to take wagers on sports, something Sen. Patrick O’Connor called “free money,” according to WHDH-TV. Neighboring states Rhode Island and New Hampshire each have some form of legalized sports betting.
The amendment’s rejection likely only delayed enactment of legal sports betting in Massachusetts. Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and other senators such as O’Connor and Marc Pacheco remain adamant supporters of legalization, and the state House legalized sports betting in its economic development bill last summer.