Sports betting officially has landed in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday signed off on a sports betting bill put forth by Bay State lawmakers some 10 days prior. Baker was expected to sign the bill as he long has been a proponent of sports betting, having urged the House and Senate to come to an agreement before their July 31 deadline.
Baker’s signature is the last step in what has been a years-long push to legalize sports betting in the state.
“Our administration first filed legislation to legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth several years ago, and I am glad to be able to sign this bill into law today,” Baker said in a statement, per MassLive. “We appreciate the dedication and compromise that the Legislature demonstrated on this issue, and we look forward to supporting the work of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on the responsible implementation of the law over the next several months.”
Massachusetts Senator Eric P. Lesser, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, also released a statement Wednesday after Baker’s confirmation.
“After a four-year process, sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts!” Lesser wrote. “I want to thank Governor Baker for signing this legislation, as well as my colleagues who worked so hard to make it happen. This new law will give residents new ways to engage with sports, generate new jobs and investment, and includes some of the strongest consumer and player safeguards in the country. I’m confident this law will be a model for other states, and I look forward to seeing its full implementation in the months ahead. I’m proud to have been a part of the team that worked to deliver sports betting in Massachusetts.”
A few of the important details on the bill:
— Betting on college sports is allowed, except for Massachusetts schools, unless they’re playing in a tournament.
— 15% in-person tax rate, 15% fantasy tax rate and 20% online tax rate.
— 15 licenses will be issued, including both online and in-person.
Massachusetts is now the 30th state in the country to legalize sports betting. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission now takes over the implementation process with a timeline to be determined.