Massachusetts Sports Betting Bills Still Far Apart
As the month of May is getting ready to come to a close, it appears that another month will pass without legal sports betting in Massachusetts. Lawmakers in this state have been working on bills over the last few years, but a new law doesn’t seem imminent.
The biggest issue in Massachusetts is that the House has a bill, and the Senate has one as well. Not only that, but the two bills couldn’t be any more different, and it’s create a stalemate as both sides want their bill to pass.
Residents in the state continue to express their desire for legal sports betting, but it’s up to the lawmakers to figure something out. Massachusetts has plenty of states to look for when setting up its own industry, but at least one chamber has ignored those examples.
Governor Charlie Baker is a fan of legal sports betting, and he would sign a bill if it ended up on his desk.
Strange Laws in the Senate
If the bill from the Senate is the one that ultimately gets passed to the governor then Massachusetts could have a very interesting sports betting industry. For one, betting on all college sporting events would be illegal with the Senate bill, and that would have a huge negative impact on betting handle and revenue.
The Senate bill also calls for a 35% tax rate for online sports betting revenue, and 20% for retail betting. Both of those numbers are extremely high, and it could keep potential sportsbooks form applying for a license.
In an effort to keep sports betting from becoming a problem for gamblers, sports betting advertisements would be banned as well.
House Bill Should Be the Focus
The bill that is currently on the floor in the House looks similar to other bills throughout the United States. Under this bill the online sports betting tax rate would be 15% and it would be just 12.5% for retail sports betting revenue.
The House bill allows sports bettors to fund their account with a credit card, but that is not an option when it comes to the Senate bill. Betting on college sporting events would also be legal under this proposal, helping the state generate even more revenue.
It is possible that a compromise is made between the two bills, but the House bill wouldn’t create as big of a shock as the Senate bill would.
New Jersey Backing Massachusetts
Lawmakers in Massachusetts still have plenty of work to do, but the governor of New Jersey believes that it’s a deal worth getting done. Governor Phil Murphy spoke on the subject earlier this week, and urged lawmakers in Massachusetts to get something figured out.
New Jersey is one of the leaders of sports betting in the United States, and there would be a potential to lose out on some business if Massachusetts passed a new law. Murphy isn’t concerned about that taking place, especially as his state has continued to grow in this industry despite a launch from New York.
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