Sports betting is finally coming to Massachusetts. House Speaker Ron Mariano announced early Monday morning that the Sports Betting Conference Committee reached an agreement on legislation that will legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports in Massachusetts.
The agreement came well after a midnight deadline, with lawmakers working through the night to hammer out an agreement that previously seemed unlikely. Less than two weeks ago, Mariano said House and Senate negotiators were “far apart.”
The legislation will now be sent to Governor Charlie Baker to sign into law. Baker has previously voiced his support for legalized sports betting and said he would sign any legislation that’s been passed. State Senator Michael Rodrigues said he is hopeful everything will be up and running in time for football season.
One of the biggest hurdles throughout this process was betting on college sports. The final agreement allows for betting on college sports except for Massachusetts schools. However, betting on Massachusetts schools in NCAA tournaments or college football postseason games will be allowed.
Other details include a 20% tax rate (on the companies taking the bets, not on bettors) and no credit cards (meaning bets will have to be made with a debit card, Paypal, etc.). Casinos and racetracks will get licenses, and there will also be seven mobile licenses issued. As of Monday morning, there has not been any announcement on who will get the seven mobile licenses.
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