Massachusetts lawmakers reach agreement on sports betting legislation

The chambers have agreed on sports betting legislation.
The chambers have agreed on sports betting legislation.

The House and Senate have come to an agreement that would allow sports betting in Massachusetts.

US.- Massachusetts lawmakers have reached a compromise on a bill authorising sports betting in the state. The deal was reached early on Monday morning with formal sessions passing Sunday’s midnight deadline. Governor Charlie Baker, who has expressed support for sports betting legalisation, now has 10 days to act on the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act. 

The Sports Betting Conference Committee began working last month to try to find a sports betting bill that both chambers could agree on after the Massachusetts Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives each passed different bills. They’ve finally agreed on legislation that would allow wagering on both professional and collegiate sports.

Speaker Ron Mariano wrote on Twitter: “I am proud to announce that the Sports Betting Conference Committee has reached an agreement on legislation that will legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports in Massachusetts, bringing the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to MA,”

The 50-page bill says wagers placed at retail locations, such as casinos, will be taxed at 15 per cent and mobile bets will be taxed at 20 per cent. People will be able to bet on college sports but only on games that do not include Massachusetts schools unless the teams are taking part in a collegiate tournament like March Madness. Bettors must be 21 and will not be able to use a credit card to place bets.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a statement: “We are thrilled that our home state has acted to protect consumers, create jobs and grow revenue in the commonwealth. We are hopeful that the legislature will move to quickly pass this and Governor Baker will sign it into law.”

According to some estimates, legal sports betting could bring an additional $35m in revenue to Massachusetts.

See also: Massachusetts is the US state that buys most lottery tickets, study finds

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