New England is on the verge of becoming a sports betting mecca in the United States. Rhode Island and New Hampshire offer sports betting. Connecticut is prepared to launch its betting industry during football season, and Massachusetts is making unexpected progress.
Two distinct bills, S 269 and H 506 would legalize sports betting in Massachusetts. They were put into action by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies on Friday, and the vote will occur until Sunday at 5:00 PM ET.
The bills move forward
Massachusetts is becoming closer to joining NH, RI, and CT to offer legal sports betting. The two bills have to be passed or rejected by Sunday at 5:00 PM ET, and no news has been announced. It’s believed that the bills are going to be approved by members of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
If the bills are approved, they will move to the House and Senate. Senator Eric Lesser’s S 269 bill will go to the Senate, and it will have to endure another committee. This is likely to pass because Lesser is the co-chair of the committee that would examine the bill.
H 506 would advance to the House, and this is a second draft of the original bill passed by Representative Dan Cahill.
Sports betting surge in the region
Sports betting is sweeping the United States. States that do not offer sports betting are behind the eight ball, which causes lost revenue. Many people in Massachusetts have either been utilizing offshore sportsbooks or traveling to border states to place bets.
This is lost tax revenue for the state. MA has legalized marijuana, but the legislature is behind for legal sports betting. This is likely to change during the 2021 legislative session because sports betting has taken over the region.
It will be unknown if the bills pass in the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies until the end of the week, most likely. Nevertheless, the rumor from lawmakers is that sports betting could pass before the legislature adjourns for its summer break.
In the 2020 legislative session, sports wagering passed in the House but stalled in the Senate. This is a possibility in 2021, but it’s less likely. There is more support for betting, and Lesser heads the committee that deals with wagering in the chamber.
Lesser introduced this legislation in February of 2021. He estimated that retail sports betting by itself could generate up to $35 million per year. Money is the ultimate decision-maker, and this monumental figure for the state is why sports betting should pass in 2021.
If sports betting was passed in MA, casinos, slots parlors, horse racing tracks, and OTBs would be able to take in-person bets if they attained a license. Additionally, each license would allow permit holders to offer one to three online skins.
The tax would be set at 12.5% for retail and 15% for mobile wagers. There would be an additional 1% tax for bets on in-state competitions like Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins games.