Massachusetts Gov. introduces retail, on-line sports activities betting invoice

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It is the third year that Charlie Baker includes sports betting revenue in his annual budget proposal

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n Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state, prior to his annual state budget proposal to the Massachusetts Municipal Association. 

Baker revealed that HD 678 would allow licensed casinos, which include MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, and online sports betting providers to offer mobile betting throughout the state, as reported by LineUps. The governor outlawed collegiate and Esports betting in the first draft of the bill. This could change as the legislative process begins, but HD 678 exclusively legalizes professional sports betting. Massachusetts is the home to four major professional sports teams in the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics.

Moreover, Baker’s bill gives the Massachusetts Gaming Commission complete jurisdiction over the Massachusetts sports betting industry. It would have the right to improve applications and enforce the government’s regulations.

Online providers wouldn’t have to be associated with a casino to operate in the state, which will allow a lot of platforms to operate in Massachusetts. Casinos in the state would have the ability to apply for a retail sports betting license while offering online sports betting as well. In-person wagers would only be taxed at 10%, while online revenue would be taxed at 12.5%.

The application fee would be $100,000, and the licensing fee would be $500,000 upon approval. The licensing agreement would need to be reapproved every five years.

The House approved sports betting in 2020, but the bill died in the Senate. HD 678 is more likely to pass because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If it was passed, it could create $35 million in state tax revenue. This is the third year that Baker has included sports betting revenue in his annual budget proposal.