Big Monday in Massachusetts: Sports Betting is Coming
Legal sports betting is coming to the state of Massachusetts after a committee was finally able to agree on a deal on Monday morning. This committee had been working on a deal since May, and it got done just hours after the deadline of July 31 was set.
Both retail and online sports betting will be available in Massachusetts, and sports bettors now have a better idea of what the market will look like. There were a pair of sports betting bills passed earlier this year, but only one could land on the desk of Governor Charlie Baker.
It was bill H 5164 that was finally agreed upon, and it will now be up to Baker to officially sign the bill into law. Sportsbook operators and other business executives have been speaking out in recent weeks in an attempt to persuade the committee to reach an agreement.
There are a couple of studies that still need to take place by lawmakers, and those aren’t going to be completed until the end of the year. Voters in Massachusetts approved sports betting, but it took an official bill before sportsbooks could start to prepare for a launch.
Plenty of Options Coming
An official sports betting launch date has not yet been set, but there will be plenty of options when that time does come. Online sports betting is expected to see the most action as this trend has been seen throughout the United States.
Each of the three casinos in Massachusetts will have two online skins, and three of those have already been claimed by BetMGM, Barstool, and WynnBET. Each casino can now seek out an additional partner to start getting things ready for launch.
On top of the casinos in the state, there will also be seven online-only sports betting licenses available. Horse race tracks could also apply for a Category 2 license, bringing additional sportsbook options to the state.
The tax rate is higher than the national average, but sportsbooks are going to be happy with the compromise that was created. The tax for revenue at online sportsbooks is 20% and retail sports betting revenue comes in at 15%.
Two Big Bans Left Out of Bill
This compromise from the committee largely took what was originally in the House bill, but there were pieces of the Senate bill that remained. A pair of bans were highly controversial in the Senate bill, and those were not included in the final bill.
The Senate bill wanted a complete ban on college sporting events, but that was not included in the final bill. Betting on college teams from the state of Massachusetts is banned, but that is similar to what other states have done.
A ban on gambling advertisements was also removed from the final bill and that was another major part of the original offer from the Senate.
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