Bay State bettors will soon (and finally) be able to partake in legal sports betting.
Massachusetts lawmakers worked deep into the night and early morning, blowing past a midnight ET deadline, and finally found an agreement to legalize sports betting in the Commonwealth.
The bill will be sent to the desk of Governor Charlie Baker, where he’s expected to sign it into law, having long been a proponent of sports betting while urging the House and Senate to get a deal done before the deadline.
Mass. Speaker of the House Ron Mariano made an official announcement via social media just after 5 a.m. Monday morning following the marathon session on Beacon Hill.
“I am proud to announce that the Sports Betting Conference Committee has reached an agreement on legislation that will legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports in Massachusetts, bringing the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to (Massachusetts),” he said in his statement. “I want to thank (Rep. Aaron Michlewitz) and (Rep. Jerry Parisella), all the conferees and my colleagues in the House, as well as our partners in the Senate for recognizing the incredible economic opportunity that legalized sports betting presents.”
Here are the important details on the bill, per Rep. Michlewitz:
— 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
There’s no established timetable yet, but the hope of lawmakers is to have sports betting up and running by the start of the NFL season. That gives all parties involved roughly a month to launch. The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 8.
Massachusetts would become the 30th state in the country to legalize sports betting.