Mar 17, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; A reflection  of the New England Patriot Hall of Fame Store at Gillette Stadium.  An image of former quarterback Tom Brady is visible through the window. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Massachusetts sports betting bill passes House

The legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts once again falls to the State Senate

Late last week the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an amended version of H 3977 by a vote of 156-3. Under the bill the Massachusetts Gaming Commission could develop emergency sport betting rules and issue temporary licenses to speed up the launch of sports betting in the state.

How will Massachusetts sports betting bill proceed?

For any of that to happen the bill would first need to pass the Senate. That may be difficult since the Senate has already discussed their own plans for sports betting in the state which don’t always see eye-to-eye with what is being proposed in H 3977.

The House waiting for the Senate to approve, or disapprove their proposal is nothing new. Last year the House included sports betting in an economic development bill which also easily passed 156-3. It was subsequently rejected by the Senate.

One of the amendments made to H 3977 would now allow standalone mobile sports betting licenses in Massachusetts. This was left out of an earlier draft of the bill.

Under the bill the fee for a sportsbook license would be $5 million. All retail sports betting revenue would be taxed at 12.5 percent, and online revenue would be taxed at 15 percent. According to Massachusetts state representatives, conservative estimates for tax revenue raised from sports betting came in around $60 million.

One proposed amendment to the bill that was rejected by the House was offering sports betting licenses to the state’s professional sports franchise. Although the amendment was rejected they will allow the state’s gaming commission to study the potential of offering teams sports betting licenses in the future.

Of course, none of this matter if the Senate once again refuses to play ball. House representatives are eager to get the bill passed in time for the upcoming football season. There has been no inclination given be the Senate or its members if anything will be different this time around and sports betting will finally come to Bay State.