Lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts have been holding hearings to discuss the possibility of legalizing sports betting.
Executives from Delaware North, a gambling company associated with successful operations in several states, was on hand to urge lawmakers to consider mobile gambling. Delaware North would like to use its experience in the gaming industry, as well as its connection to the TD Garden to offer sports betting in the state.
Pitching the idea
Delaware North currently owns and operates nine casinos in seven states across the US. It has the qualifications to offer sports betting services in Massachusetts and wants to see the state focus on mobile options.
The company has pointed out that mobile wagering will provide additional revenues to the state as well as more licensing fees. Mobile is already used more often than land-based wagering in other states, so there is major potential for success.
Delaware North is also the owner and operator of the TD Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics and Bruins of Massachusetts. It wants to be able to offer its own sports betting platform, or partner with a provider that would create a platform specially for sports wagering in the stadium.
President of TD Garden Amy Latimer said: “We view sports wagering as a great opportunity for us to engage fans and get the casual fan interested in sports in a new way. We understand gaming, sports and the customer, and Delaware North would like the ability to participate as a sports wagering provider.”
Potential conflict of interest
During the hearing, lawmakers pointed out a potential conflict of interest regarding Delaware North and sports betting.
Jeremy Jacobs is the majority shareholder and chairman of Delaware North. He is also the owner of the Bruins and the chair of the National Hockey League’s board of governors. Lawmakers wanted to know how the different entities break down and how the company would offer such services.
Latimer pointed out that Jacobs is prohibited from wagering on NHL games via a ruling by the league. She also stated that Delaware North is open to working with a partner to create a platform for sports wagering at TD Garden or offering its own.
Lawmakers told Delaware North’s representatives during the meeting that the company should return to talk to the committee again in the future. Democrat Representative Ken Gordon stated it needs to provide more reassuranced, so that the public knows there will be no conflict of interest.
Several sports betting bills are being considered in the state, including one submitted by Governor Charlie Baker. The bill filed by Baker prohibits several categories of individuals from wagering. These include athletes, coaches, referees, team managers, trainers, and others, such as a director of a sports governing body.