Massachusetts Sports Betting Legislation to Determine the Fate of Sturbridge Racing Facility

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Massachusetts sports betting legislative efforts would be crucial in determining whether the development of a $25 million horse racing and wagering facility in Sturbridge will continue.

According to an article published in The Telegram & Gazette this week, a local businessman Armand Janjigian is proposing the development of a $25 million equine center that will feature live horse racing, pari-mutuel wagering, and sports betting.

The project has been dabbed Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center and is expected to be located on the east side of Interstate 85 in Sturbridge. Two public hearings are scheduled later this month, and the community will have the opportunity to understand what the project is all about and raise their concerns.

Live horse racing in Massachusetts ended in June 2019when the last race was held at Suffolk Down. Janjigian hopes to bring back live racing, but legal sports betting will determine how the development moves forward.

Conversely, horse racing has been a dying sport in the United States. Tracks nationwide are closing or reducing their racing calendars. In-state like New Jersey, sports betting has helped return patrons on tracks at The Meadowlands and Monmouth. Massachusetts is yet to have legal sports betting.

Massachusetts lawmakers have passed sports betting legislation this year, but the Senate has failed to act upon it. Lawmakers are currently on summer break but will return to work after the weekend’s Labor Day holiday. Senate President Karen Spilka says that sports betting will be up for discussion.

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