Legislators in the eastern American state of Massachusetts are set to take another run at legalizing sportsbetting after failing to agree on a measure last summer due to a disagreement over the capacity to wager on collegiate sports.
According to a Monday report from a source, the Massachusetts State Senate will soon get down to considering a new sportsbetting legalization measure after this 40-seat body’s influential Ways and Means Committee approved the proposition’s language on Friday. However, unlike an analogous piece of legislation sanctioned by the Massachusetts House of Representatives in July, this latest proposal would not permit sports wagering aficionados in ‘The Bay State’ to bet on the outcome of collegiate sporting events.
Oregon is reportedly the only American state that has so far legalized some form of sportsbetting without a collegiate facility while analysts have forecast that such a proscription for Massachusetts would decrease this jurisdiction’s annual aggregated revenues by up to $35 million. The sports wagering measure passed last summer by the Massachusetts House of Representatives purportedly estimated that the territory’s yearly sports wagering receipt tally could reach as high as $60 million once the entire system was up and running.
Massachusetts is home to a little over seven million people with residents now reportedly required to travel to the neighboring states of Connecticut, Rhode Island or New Hampshire if they wish to place a sports-related wager. Ron Mariano serves as the Speaker for the Massachusetts House of Representatives and he purportedly declared in July that the collegiate impasse ‘probably would be’ a deal-breaker if his body were to consider another sportsbetting measure.
The source explained that the Massachusetts State Senate proposal moreover differs from its Massachusetts House of Representatives predecessor in that it would charge a higher range of taxes on sportsbetting revenues. The latest proposition would purportedly see retail and online receipts hit with duties of 20% and 35% respectively while the earlier measure called for levies of 12.5% and 15%.
The Massachusetts State Senate measure would furthermore reportedly allow the state to license up to nine online sportsbetting operators even though the rival Massachusetts House of Representatives legislation would see eleven such certifications. This latter proposal additionally differs from its compatriot in that it would purportedly set aside three of these certifications to the state’s land-based commercial casinos encompassing the MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and slots-only Plainridge Park Casino properties.
Despite these differences, Massachusetts State Senate President Karen Spilka (pictured) reportedly expressed satisfaction at being able to finalize the language of her body’s sportsbetting legalization measure. Although Massachusetts’ latest legislative session is set to end in July, local legislators could still purportedly come to an agreement via an informal term that is due to run to January 2, 2023.
Spilka reportedly stated on Friday…
“I am pleased to see the Ways and Means Committee has come to agreement on a strong proposal and I look forward to discussing it with my colleagues next week.”