Massachusetts Joins Over 30 States in Legalizing Sports Betting

On August 10, more than four years after the US Supreme Court allowed US states to legalize gambling on sports, sports betting has been finally made legal in the state of Massachusetts after Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill legalizing in-person and digital wagering on sports in the state.

Massachusetts Is Expected to Gain Massive Revenue

The new legislation legalizing sports betting in the state means that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission shall have to grant licenses to sports betting operators in order for them to be allowed to accept sports wagering. It is expected that the licenses given to brick-and-mortar casinos, racetracks, digital platforms, and mobile applications among others will bring in $70 to $80 million. According to the bill, these licenses shall have to be renewed every five years.

After operations commence, the prognosis is that sports betting will benefit the state with $60 million in tax revenue per year. The new bill stipulates a 15% tax on in-person sports betting and a 20% tax on all digital sports wagering.

Basic Wagering Rules of the Bill

The new bill allows people 21 and over to place bets on professional sports events and some college sports. However, wagering on teams or athletes from Massachusetts educational institutions is not permitted unless the sports event they are participating in is part of a tournament with at least three other teams or individuals.

In addition, the bill includes stipulations regarding addressing problem gambling, a ban on certain advertising, clauses on investigating unsuitable behavior and much more.

Still a Lot of Work Ahead of Market Launch

However, there is still a lot of work to be done as now the bill has to be put into practice by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. In addition to the long process of licensing sports betting operators, the Commission has made a plan for over 200 regulations in connection with the new legislation. This work will take at least a few months before the betting market can be launched in Massachusetts.

The chair of the Gaming Commission Cathy Judd-Stein has noted that the Commission is set on completing the necessary steps as quickly as possible: “Now that we have a law that defines our responsibilities as regulators, we will work with our stakeholders to swiftly stand up this new industry with a focus on integrity, player safety, and consumer protection.

Judd-Stein has also highlighted that the Commission has been monitoring the progress of the sports betting legislation in the state and has been preparing for a while for the launch of the market. It has already drafted a major part of the regulations and is more or less ready to take on their role to oversee the new gambling market sector.

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