Sports betting bill finalized

BOSTON – Monday, August 1, 2022 – The Massachusetts Legislature today passed An Act regulating sports wagering authorizing and regulating sports betting in the Commonwealth. The legislation authorizes the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant in-person licenses at gaming establishments, including casinos, racetracks a

nd simulcast facilities, as well as mobile licenses through mobile applications or digital platforms. This legislation will generate an estimated $60 million in annual tax revenue for Massachusetts, in addition to collecting up to $70 to $80 million in initial licensing fees, which must be renewed every five years. The revenue collected will be distributed to municipalities, and for economic, workforce, education, and public health priorities.


“I’m incredibly proud that today, and after years of House-led efforts to authorize legal sports wagering in Massachusetts, the Legislature has acted to bring the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “Legalizing wagers on both professional and collegiate sports will create jobs and bring tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue to Massachusetts."


“Massachusetts residents are passionate about their sports. This legislation will allow fans to bet on their favorite teams but do so in a regulated manner that promotes responsible gaming, while bringing in millions of dollars of revenue that has been going to our neighboring states or to illegal online operators and bookies,” said Representative Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.


“An Act regulating sports wagering” includes a 15 percent tax on in-person wagering and a 20 percent tax on mobile wagering. The legislation creates the Workforce Investment Trust Fund & the Youth Development and Achievement Fund which will receive 17.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively, of the revenue generated by the taxes and licensing fees. The rest of the funds will go to the existing Gaming Local Aid Fund (27.5 percent), the Public Health Trust Fund (9 percent) and the General Fund (45 percent.)


· The funds in the Workforce Investment Trust Fund will be used to develop and strengthen workforce opportunities for low-income communities and vulnerable youth and young adults, including to promote stable employment and wage growth.


· The funds in the Youth Development and Achievement Fund will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education, and for after school and out of school activities.


The legislation will also allow betting on college sports, with the exception of Massachusetts schools, unless they are participating in a tournament. People must be 21 years old or older to bet. As directed through this legislation, the Gaming Commission will be conducting a study into the feasibility of allowing retail locations to operate sports wagering kiosks.


Having been passed by the House and Senate, An Act regulating sports wagering now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.


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