MASS. - A Massachusetts state senator says now is the time to legalize sports betting statewide.

Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) filed legislation in January.  The House approved sports betting in July, but the bill is now in the Senate Ways and Means committee, where it will be analyzed before going in front of the entire Senate. 

Senator Lesser says there are around 30 states who have already legalized sports betting, including neighboring states like New York, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

“We're learning as we see these other states. But at a certain point, look, we can't have a situation where all of our neighbors have this. They put our local businesses and our employees here in Massachusetts at a disadvantage,” Sen. Lesser said. “And it ultimately means tax dollars and potential revenue leaves the state that really shouldn't be."

Senator Lesser says the state would earn an estimated $25 to $75 million in tax revenue from legal sports betting every year. It's money he says can be used to improve infrastructure like bridges and roads.