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In a clear sign that there are still plenty of points of agreement between the two sides of the Codfish State legal sports betting debate, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MCG) has just announced its plans to “take preliminary administrative actions” with regards to that bill.
To be clear, despite prior attempts, there is no legal sports betting in MA right now and that’s because two distinct sides of Bay State lawmakers are fighting over certain aspects of what that bill will allow, however there are still plenty of sub-issues on which they agree.
MGC chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein wants to use that fact to begin filling in the blanks, so to speak, on the upcoming sports betting bill, creating language for the parts on which both sides agree in order to save time later once the other issues are settled, saying on Wednesday:
We have been thinking about this and we do believe that we are able to make certain assumptions that are neutral and not tied to any one policy but relevant, regardless of any particular legislative outcome, to legalize sports wagering in the commonwealth. So, where we can act on those assumptions and take preliminary administrative actions, we can perhaps put ourselves in a better position, a stronger position, to implement any sports wagering bill that is signed into law, allowing us to be a nimble and effective regulator.
This is all in anticipation of one of several sports betting bills making it through state congress.
As we recently reported in MA Lawmakers Launch Committee to Seek Sports Betting Bill Compromise, both the MA senate and house have created their own version of a sports betting bill that they feel would work in that state, but there are a few issues over which they disagree.
The House’s version leans towards a more open operation while the Senate seems to be envisioning a stricter version, but with only another month before their legislative session is scheduled to end, a compromise between the two sides becomes necessary in three areas:
Ad Guidelines, Tax Rates, and College Wagering.
The MA Senate and house differ on those three main issues, and each side is convinced theirs is the better version.
When it comes to allowing betting on college sports, the House bill is all for it while the Senate bill is against it despite most every other open market now allowing for it.
As for unrestricted advertising, the Senate bill would place heavy restrictions on it while the House bill allows for more commercial freedom.
The debate over a fair tax rate has the Senate pulling for a higher rate than the House on both in-person (20% vs 12.5%) and mobile (35% vs 15%) revenue.
Once those items and a few more are decided on to the satisfaction of both sides, having the rest of the bill’s language already worked out by the MGC should prove to be a time saver, a good thing given that time is rapidly running out there.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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