Massachusetts lawmakers agreed on a sports activities betting legalization invoice within the remaining moments of the 2022 legislative session. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Crossed the end line
Authorized sports activities betting is coming to Massachusetts, as lawmakers got here to a compromise on a sports activities betting legalization invoice within the remaining hours of the state’s 2022 legislative session. Home Speaker Ron Mariano introduced the information on Monday at 5:10am native time. The six-person convention committee lastly got here to an settlement following nearly eight weeks of conferences.
betting shall be allowed on faculty sports activities
The ultimate model of Home Invoice 5164 (HB5164) legalizes each retail and on-line sports activities betting. Betting shall be allowed on faculty sports activities, one thing that was one of many essential areas of competition, however bettors won’t be able to put wagers on video games involving Massachusetts schools, besides after they participate in tournaments.
The subsequent step is for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to signal the invoice into regulation. He beforehand stated that he would help authorized sports activities betting, so this step appears to be inevitable.
Reaching a compromise
The Senate and Home had not seen eye to eye on sure elements of the sports activities betting invoice, which led to in depth negotiations. The six folks on the convention committee managed to return to a remaining settlement shortly after the midnight deadline. There shall be a 15% tax fee on retail sports activities betting income, rising to twenty% for on-line betting. The three business casinos in Massachusetts and the 2 racetracks will be capable of apply for licenses.
licenses will price $5m and shall be energetic for 5 years
The casinos can stand up to 2 skins for on-line sports activities betting, whereas racetracks can solely have one. The licenses will price $5m and shall be energetic for 5 years. There can even be seven on-line sports activities betting licenses up for grabs that aren’t linked to any racetrack or on line casino. Whereas there are not any advertising and marketing restrictions for sportsbook operators, folks won’t be able to make use of bank cards so as to add funds to their accounts.
The bill additionally will see the creation of a Public Well being Belief Fund. 9 % of all sports activities betting-related tax income will go into the fund and every on-line sportsbook operator should contribute $1m annually. The funds will go in the direction of research regarding the influence of sports activities betting on the likes of younger folks, faculty sports activities, and drawback playing.
No clear timeline to launch
Whereas Massachusetts lawmakers have agreed on a remaining sports activities betting legalization invoice, it’s unclear as to when sportsbooks would possibly be capable of open within the Commonwealth State. With the NFL season quick approaching, it seems extremely unlikely that sportsbooks shall be up and working by then.
The governor nonetheless must signal the invoice into regulation, the particular guidelines and rules must be finalized, and the licensing course of should be created and accomplished. On common, a state wants eight months after legalizing sports activities betting earlier than sportsbooks open.