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Massachusetts sports betting bill awaits governor’s signature after passing legislature


Massachusetts is set to join the sports betting game after the state legislature reached an agreement early Monday morning that will allow Commonwealth-licensed sportsbooks to offer betting on professional and amateur sports with certain restrictions.

Governor Charlie Baker, who has voiced support for legalizing sports betting, has 10 days to act on Massachusetts’ sports betting law, which passed by a 36-4 vote.

“I am proud to announce that the conference committee on sports betting has reached agreement on legislation that will legalize betting on professional and college sports in Massachusetts, bringing the immense economic benefits of a legal betting industry. sports betting at [Massachusetts]“, Ron Mariano, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, tweeted around 5 a.m. ET Monday.

Previous versions of the legislation included bans on betting on college sports and advertising restrictions, which caused much debate and protracted the process. On July 21, Mariano told reporters the parties were “far apart.” But the House and Senate reached agreement Monday on a bill that resembles the approach of many states that have allowed sports betting in recent years:

  • Online and retail betting will be permitted.

  • Bets on events involving in-state colleges like Boston College are not permitted unless the teams are participating in a “College Tournament”.

  • Punters must be 21 to place a bet with a licensed bookmaker and cannot use a credit card.

  • Sports betting will be taxed at 15% on net income from in-person betting and 20% on online betting.

The bill would also allow a sports governing body to enter into a commercial agreement with a bookmaker and “share the amount wagered or the revenue derived from sports betting on the sports governing body’s sporting events”. Sports governing bodies would not be required to obtain a license to participate in these revenue-sharing partnerships.

In a statement, Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of Boston-based DraftKings, thanked the bill’s sponsors and said the company was “delighted” that the legislature had reached an agreement “to protect consumers and raise incomes in the Commonwealth”. .”

“We hope the Legislature quickly passes this bill and Governor Baker signs it into law,” Robins said.

Thirty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have launched legal sports betting markets since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling paved the way for all jurisdictions to allow betting.

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