What goes together like peanut butter and jelly? Major league sports and gambling (mostly betting). Massachusetts lawmakers may have given Robert Kraft’s New England Revolution MLS team a future home and a new neighbor for the gleaming Encore Boston Harbor that sits next to the Mystic River in the suburb of Everett.
Soccer fans will likely be able to bet on Revolution games in the future. Though Massachusetts legislators continue to slog through the very pointed contradictions in House and Senate sports betting bills, legal wagering in the state will get approved at some point. Perhaps in concert with when the Revolution plays its first game – a win for everyone including tourists, bettors and state coffers.
Without a floor debate or public input, according to Boston.com, the Massachusetts House on Thursday massaged a sprawling multi-billion-dollar economic development package that would exclude a 43-acre industrial parcel from environmental regulations for the purpose of developing a “sports, recreation or events center.”
Kraft, who also owns the New England Patriots, houses the Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro but has long sought a more amenable venue closer to Boston.
The massive Everett property impacted by the new language inserted by the House current houses a massive power plant that looms over the waterfront casino like the cover of the Pink Floyd Animals album cover.
Parcel near Boston, Massachusetts casino is a coveted spot for Wynn, Kraft
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria told Boston.com that he’d had discussions with Kraft about the site. Officials at the Encore, which is owned by Wynn Resorts, have been attempting to find partners to develop the site themselves, DeMaria told the media outlet.
“You have a lot of people who live in the cities of Everett and Chelsea and Revere . . . and in this area who love soccer,” DeMaria told Boston.com.
“It’s more friendly-family, it’s more affordable than most sports. If we can work on the transit issues and bring in something like this and truly light up that waterfront and make that spectacular looking, I think the people of Everett would love it.”
Although the bill, which has rankled environmentalists and caught local politicians off guard, must still pass the House and Senate, Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to support it, according to Boston.com.
Massachusetts sports betting compromise unrealized with deadline wicked close
The current legislative session is slated to end on July 31. Still, one state representative said at the National Council for Legislators from Gaming States conference in Boston last week that he remained hopeful a compromise could be struck.
Currently, Massachusetts residents’ legal sports betting options are in neighboring Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.
Encore Boston Harbor pulled in more than $60 million in gross gaming revenue for the month of June, up $2 million from May, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.