Sports gamblers in Massachusetts could see legal sports betting in their state by the end of the year or sooner, that is if the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies (JCEDET) approves the two bills it has until Sunday at 5:00 PM ET to vote on.
The bills, Senate 269 and House 506, would finally do for sports betting what Massachusetts has already done for its marijuana – legalize it – a move that would allow the Codfish State to join its neighbors in what would most likely be a lucrative boost in their state’s economy.
Given that one of the bills is sponsored by a co-chair of the committee, Senator Eric Lesser, the bills are expected to be approved and then make their way over to the Senate (S 269) and the House (H 506) where they will be voted on in the next legislative session.
However, since this would be the second time such sports betting bills have been presented to the Massachusetts Congress, it is entirely possible that either of these bills could stall again.
Last year during the Massachusetts 2020 legislative session, a prior sports wagering bill passed in the House but got delayed by the Senate after it was included in the proposed economic development plan.
Though most of the state’s senators have expressed their support of legalized sports betting in Massachusetts, they did not like the idea of adding it to the back of an emergency response bill, telling the press that such a move “would not send the right message.”
Such a delay is not expected this time around since they are taking a more direct approach to the issue plus the fact that Lesser co-chairs the JCEDET gives those in favor of legal sports gambling in the state great hope that both bills will be approved.
Should the bills pass legislative muster and eventually find their way to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk, it is likely they will be signed into law, adding the Bay state to the growing list of East Coast states (Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and soon Connecticut) that are already taking advantage of this booming new tax revenue generator.
Sen. Lesser predicts that Massachusetts could generate up to $35 million in annual tax revenue once casinos, slots parlors, horse racing tracks, and OTBs can begin taking bets on the many sporting events the state has to offer.
Each licensee would also be permitted to offer up to three online skins, which would further take advantage of an already thriving gambling economy where profits have been lost to offshore sportsbooks or to the border states that have already legalized sports betting.
With a 12.5% tax rate for retail and 15% for mobile wagers, Massachusetts stands to take in substantial revenue, so expect the JCEDET to approve these two bills and push the process further forward and give local gamblers the chance to bet legally on the upcoming NFL season which starts at the beginning of September.
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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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