Massachusetts House-Senate sports betting bill negotiations remain “far apart”

The chambers have yet to agree on sports betting legislation.
The chambers have yet to agree on sports betting legislation.

Massachusetts House of Representatives speaker Ron Mariano has said that there are still differences between the State House and Senate discussions on the legalisation of sports betting.

US.- Massachusetts House of Representatives Speaker Ron Mariano has said that State House and Senate negotiators remains “far apart” in discussions on the legalisation of sports betting. A final agreement is stuck on several key points, including the legalisation of collegiate sports betting.

Each chamber has approved a different sports betting bill, and they’re struggling to agree on a common piece of legislation to legalise sports betting in the state. The bill passed by the Senate includes a prohibition on wagers on collegiate athletes and also a different tax rate from that approved by the House.

Speaking to reporters, Ron Mariano said: “I’m reluctant to turn over college sports to the black market. I’ve had that position since the beginning. If we’re going to do this, I think there’s an opportunity to include college sports rather than let it be only handled by bookies.

“I mean, I don’t understand if you’re going to do sports betting why you’re going to leave out the Final Four, the bowl games, and the whole college football season. It just doesn’t seem to me to be worth doing if you’re going to leave those.”

Senate President Karen Spilka, meanwhile, told reporters that she remained “hopeful” sports betting negotiators could reach a compromise on time before the legislative session ends on July 31. A joint committee began working last month to try to find a sports betting bill that both chambers can agree on.

Massachusetts casinos report revenue of $93m for June

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor generated $93m in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in June. Encore reported GGR of $60m, MGM Springfield $21.1m and Plainridge Park $11.9m.

Together, Massachusetts’ three casinos generated approximately $26m in tax revenue in June. Approximately $1.127bn in total taxes and assessments from the casinos in Massachusetts have been collected since the opening of each gaming facility. 

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Massachusetts sports betting