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Massachusetts House Advances Sports Betting Bill

Sports betting is turning into a reality in Massachusetts. The northeast region of the United States is being swept by legal betting, and MA could be the next step to finalize wagering. On Thursday evening, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill by a nearly unanimous margin.

This is a promising sign as sports betting advances to the Senate for final approval before landing on the governor’s desk.

Past Week in the House

It has been a busy week for the Massachusetts legislature that concluded with a 156-3 vote to legalize sports betting. The sports betting bill began with the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies in June.

This group discussed 19 different sports betting bills before the 12 lawmakers in the committee decided to dwindle it to a single bill. This legislation was H.3974, which was discussed by the House Ways and Means Committee.

This committee altered the bill to a new draft on Wednesday titled H.3977. The bill was submitted for a third reading on Thursday, where it passed with ease. Ease has not been synonymous with MA sports betting since January.

There were 13 amendments added to the current sports betting bill to receive a nearly unanimous approval. Some of the amendments included support for minority-owned businesses to get involved in the industry.

This trend started with Maryland, and it has been adopted by many states. Additionally, there was an alteration to allow tethered and untethered sports betting licenses in the state. MA would be the first state in the nation to enable both types of permits.

The Senate will make the final decision if this provision becomes a reality. H.3977 was widely supported in the House, which will likely be the case in the Senate. The bill combined 12 sports betting proposals that have been made since January.

Additionally, MA is under pressure to pass sports betting because four of its five bordering states have legalized wagering, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. New Hampshire and Rhode Island have mobile betting, and CT and NY are on the verge of launching their markets.

Details of H.3977

The Massachusetts sports betting bill gives operators and businesses a chance to make a lot of money on wagering. There will be three types of licenses in the state. They will be divided between casinos, racetracks, and mobile sportsbooks.

Casinos will be able to launch three mobile skins, giving them a financial advantage. Although, their taxes will be higher because of the additional revenue. Race tracks and untethered permits will provide one skin.

Another exciting part of MA sports betting is that in-state college athletics wagering is permitted. However, there will be no player props allowed for all collegiate betting. The application fee is $100,000, and the license cost is $5 million, renewable every five years.

The tax rates will be 12.5% for in-person wagers and 15% for mobile bets. This is comparable to many legal betting states in America. Esports betting is legal, and official league data will be mandated for sportsbooks. Betting is likely in 2022 in MA if the Senate follows the House’s lead.

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