March Madness betting pools are coming together and would-be bettors in Massachusetts will once again be on the (legal) betting sidelines as other states grab a stake of the wagering due to laws legalizing sports betting.

In Massachusetts, the state Senate last session was an unwilling partner to the House, which was ready to make the move and legalize sports wagering. In the new session, Senate President Karen Spilka, who opposed a 2010 casino law before supporting a different version in 2011, is taking a wait-and-see approach to the issue.

During an interview last week on Bloomberg Radio, Spilka both declined to stake out a position on the bill -- "I will wait to see what kind of bill we end up with" -- but also said she hoped that if lawmakers agree to legalize sports betting they will pass legislation that might serve as a "national model."

Spilka opposed a casino legalization bill that cleared the Senate 25-15 in 2010 but died in a dispute with former Gov. Deval Patrick. In 2011, she played a lead role in developing a redrafted bill that dropped a racetrack slots carveout and became law after it was approved in the Senate that year on a 27-10 vote.

"While I did not vote for casino gambling -- full disclosure I am not a gambler -- the bill that we ultimately passed, which I was one or two senators to have a lead role in developing that bill, the one that we finally passed serves still as a national model," Spilka said. "And if we do go down the road of authorizing sports betting, I'd like to be able to say the same thing for that bill, as well."

Spilka declined in the interview with Bloomberg Baystate Business to stake out a position on the bill or a Sen. Jamie Eldridge plan to prevent sports wagering at casinos.

"There will be a lot of discussion," she said. "I know a lot of members have had various ideas and thoughts about it, whether to do it or not do it, or how to do it. So there will be a lot of debate and discussion about it."

Last month, Sen. Eric Lesser, the point person on sports wagering in that branch, highlighted a proposed landscape for legal sports betting and his proposal will likely serve as a starting point for Senate debate, which has not been scheduled.

In 2011, Spilka co-chaired the Economic Development Committee that Lesser now leads with Rep. Joe Wagner, who is now second assistant majority leader, near the top of Speaker Ron Mariano's leadership team.