Massachusetts House of Representatives

  • Massachusetts has passed a sports betting bill in the House that will now move on to the Senate.
  • House Bill 3977 was introduced and passed within the House Chamber of the Massachusetts Legislature within four days.
  • MA HB 3977 would regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks in the Bay State.

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House passed a sports betting bill on Thursday that will now push the legislation to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 3977 would make sports wagering in the Bay State a regulated industry.

While the bill passed by an initial vote of 156 YEAS and 3 NAYS, the House Quorum Roll Call afterward resulted in a vote of 160 YEAS and 0 NAYS for MA HB 3977.

What’s Ahead For House Bill 3977?

This particular measure was done and passed within four days of being in the House Chamber of the Massachusetts Legislature. However, insiders do not believe that kind of swift action will be taking place in the Senate, as the Senate and the House have very different ideas as to how a regulated sports wagering industry for Massachusetts should look.

Retail and mobile sportsbooks would be open within the Commonwealth for residents to enjoy under House Bill 3977. There were a total of 28 amendment requests during the hearing prior to the time voting was done on the bill.

Most of these amendments were withdrawn as they had to do with the number of Massachusetts sports betting licenses eligible should the bill come to pass.

The language within House Bill 3977 is not as concise as the Senate would typically prefer which could cause issues during the hearings that will be held on the proposal. At the moment, sports gaming venues include the casinos and tracks in the Bay State. Each casino would be allowed to open 3 separate mobile sportsbooks while each track would get one, for a total of eleven mobile sports betting operators in Massachusetts.

The Hope For Massachusetts Sports Betting

While the Massachusetts Legislature is in session throughout the year, lawmakers want this bill to pass in the Senate and quickly. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has said it would allow an emergency clause for temporary sportsbook licenses to go live while the permanent rules and regulations are being discussed in order to expedite the process.

The Commonwealth would love to go live with a sports gaming market for NFL betting action.

At the moment, the current draft of the bill that will be seen by the Senate will tax retail sportsbooks at 12.5% on all GGR and online sportsbooks at 15%. Applicants will need to provide a fee of $5 million just to apply for licensure.

Lawmakers hope to roll out these sports betting applications in Massachusetts under House Bill 3977 in time for the Super Bowl in 2022.

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