With debate raging in the State Legislature on whether or not to implement sports wagering in Massachusetts, the Everett City Council had a unanimous call for the state to pass the bill currently being contemplated.
There was no hesitation from the Council at their short meeting on June 28 regarding the body’s position on sports wagering, which would potentially be implemented at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett if approved by the state. The bill has been in discussion all month, with many at Encore and the Mass Gaming Commission (MGC) giving testimony earlier in June.
“Sports betting is a big thing in Massachusetts,” said Councilor Rosa DiFlorio. “People from Massachusetts go all over to place sports bets. It would be right down the street and bring in big revenues. We are all in support of this. I know the governor is in favor of this too. Let’s get our names out there and on the record as supporters as well.”
Council President Wayne Matewsky said he also supports the measure, and feels like it has been legalize everywhere but here, noting a recent poll of Massachusetts voters that said 76.5 percent approved of the current sports betting bill.
“We are the only state around us that doesn’t have sports betting,” he said. “The money this would generate would go to education as far as I know.”
The Council voted unanimously on a voice vote to support the bill and send a letter proclaiming that to the State Legislature.
•Recess for Summer?
The custom for many years has been to take a summer break from the City Council, and that break was approved at the June 28 meeting – but not everyone was for taking a vacation this year.
First, the new Youth Council members appeared at the meeting and asked that the Council make an exception this year and continue on with regular business in regular meetings. They said given the pandemic and the complications that have arisen, perhaps it would be best for the Council to meet through the summer.
Councilor Anthony DiPierro said he understood the sentiment, but that the work does continue for councilors even if they aren’t in the Chambers.
“Just because we may not meet regularly in this room, it doesn’t mean the work stops,” he said.
Councilor Michael McLaughlin proposed that the Council have one regular meeting in July and another in August to keep the momentum going.
“I think on the heels of a pandemic year, the levels of challenges we’ve face with every day, I think we should meet over the summer to continue doing the people’s business,” he said.
The Council voted 8-3 to recess for the summer, with Councilors Gerly Adrien, John Hanlon and McLaughlin voting against the recess. Council President Wayne Matewsky clarified that there will likely still be Special Meetings in the summer, and that one is already scheduled for business on July 8.