Massachusetts Sport Betting Legalization Postponed

Legal sports betting in Massachusetts passed the House vote but halted on the Senate vote yesterday. The state officials voted on the ENDURE act but excluded the language for sports betting legalization.

Economic Development Plan Voted without the Language for Sport Betting Legalization

Following the Senate vote on Wednesday in Massachusetts, sport betting in the state is one step closer, but postponed for the moment. The Senate voted on Wednesday a $455 million economic development plan called ENDURE act. However, the Senate officials excluded the language in the bill, which was referring to the legalization of sports betting. This move comes after grand support which was shown on Tuesday by the House in the state.

Cited by MassLive, State Senator and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Michael Rodrigues said: “As it relates to sports gaming, sports wagering, I believe that certainly, the time is close when we are going to be tackling this issue, but the time is not now.” The Senator also outlined: “Nor is this the proper vehicle to do so in.

Even Senator Eric Lesser, who has been a supporter of the sports betting legalization in the state, pointed out that the current issue at hand is the economic impact by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Thus, Lesser said that he would like the sports betting bill to be voted in 2020, but for the current moment, it needs to be on hold. If the sports betting legalization bill was passed yesterday, Massachusetts would have become the 24th state with approved sports betting in the US.

The Sports Betting Market in Massachusetts Will Have to Wait

The bill which legalized sports betting in Massachusetts featured three different sports betting licenses:

  • Online and in-person sports betting
  • In-person sports betting at racetracks
  • Online only sports betting

The bill featured an application fee of $250,000 which is valid for a period of 5 years. Operators that chose to renew their license after the initial 5-year period would only pay $100,000. Looking at taxation, the bill featured 15% gambling tax revenue. In addition, 1% of the revenue would be allocated towards local sports events.

Looking at data for 2019, in the US, some $13 billion were legally bet. With more states working towards the establishment of regulated legal sports betting markets, similar if not better results were expected this year as well. This was until the COVID-19 outbreak started. The negative impact of the pandemic influenced many industries and led to thousands of furloughs and layoffs.

With that in mind, Boston Red Sox have seen the idea for legal sports betting in Massachusetts as a “low-hanging fruit”. We cannot miss to mention that daily fantasy giants DraftKings and FanDuel as well as MGM Resorts International have all helped in the push towards legal sports betting in the state. Although the current process is temporarily on hold, as soon as the state officials legalize sports betting in the state, fresh gambling taxes will aid the state’s economy.

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