Mass. Governor Announces Sports Betting Legalization Plan In Bay State

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Legalized sports gambling might soon be coming to the Bay State.

Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker on Thursday announced a proposal that would legalize and tax sports gambling in the state. The proposed legislation would authorize the Mass. Gaming Commission to license the state’s three casino operators to offer sports betting on site and online.

?Our legislation puts forth a series of commonsense proposals to ensure potential licensees are thoroughly vetted and safeguards are in place to protect against problem gambling and illegal activity,? Baker said in a statement, per WHDH.

The proposal would tax sports wagers made inside casinos at 10 percent, while levying a 12 percent fee on bets made online. Tax revenues collected would be directed toward local aid for cities and towns.

The legislation only would cover professional sports, however. Gambling on college, high school and other amateur sports events would remain illegal in the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court in a 2018 ruling struck down the federal prohibition on sports betting, allowing states to legalize it if they decide to do so.

Massachusetts decided in 2018 to take a wait-and-see approach to the issue. Baker, whom voters overwhelmingly reelected last November, has decided to act now on sports betting in the early days of his second term in office.

Thumbnail photo via Suchat Pederson/The News Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

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