Speaker of House Mariano Happy with Start of Retail Betting

Speaker of House Mariano Happy with Start of Retail Betting
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It’s been a long time coming for Massachusetts Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano (D, 3rd Norfolk).

Since July 2021, when the House approved (by a vote of 156-2) its Mass sports betting bill (H 3977), Mariano has been in the forefront of the sports wagering industry here in the Commonwealth.

The bill was passed by the entire Legislature on Aug. 1, 2022 and was signed into law by then-Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 10.
Mariano’s day of affirmation, along with all of Massachusetts, came Tuesday morning as retail sports betting officially launched in the state.

Getting Bets in at Encore Boston Harbor

Mariano was one of several Massachusetts dignitaries to place first bets at the brand-new retail WynnBet MA Sportsbook teller windows at Encore Boston Harbor, along with notables such as former Red Sox great Johnny Damon, former Patriots Ty Law and Matt Light, Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell and Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins.

“This is my first time in the place (Encore Boston Harbor), and I’m impressed by the size and the quality. It’s much nicer than what I expected,” Mariano said in a chat among reporters after the event.

Mariano said, right now, all revenue will go into the state’s General Fund.

“I think it is going to be a beacon for Boston as a travel destination once we clean up the surrounding area and move on some improvement projects around it (in Everett),” Mariano said. “I think you are looking at a potential gold mine.

“I think this kicks off a firm, solid sports betting facility and it’s only going to expand and continue.”

The wagering in the state began Tuesday with retail but goes into high gear when Mass betting apps go live with mobile sometime in March. No firm date has been established,

Mariano also offered his thoughts on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and the process to get sports betting up-and-running in the Commonwealth.

“They were very slow and methodical, and they wanted to get it right,” he said. “They had plenty of examples from other states to use and I really think they could have gone a little faster, but honestly, they erred on the side of caution and took their time and wanted to make sure there were no major mistakes. You can’t fault them for that. That’s their responsibility and they did their job. We are here today with a nice event. It went off smoothly and I have no complaints at all.”

Oh yeah, what were Mariano’s first bets at teller window No. 1?

  • $50 on the Boston Celtics to win the NBA title.
  • $50 on the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. 
    Of course, they were.

The bets will keep on coming and BetMassachusetts.com will be with you with coverage all the way. The site also will have Massachusetts betting promos.

Be sure to check back with BetMassachusetts to stay up to date on all the best in-state promotional offers, like the BetMGM Massachusetts bonus code



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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