Governor Charlie Baker

  • The Massachusetts Legislature is currently out of commission due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • A new sports betting bill, House Bill 4559, was set to be heard before COVID-19 stopped the regularly scheduled session calendar.
  • Governor Charlie Baker is all for legalizing sports betting in the commonwealth as it could bring in millions of dollars a year in revenue.

BOSTON – MA House Bill 4559 would make sports betting in Massachusetts available to those within state lines. The bill last saw action on March 12 where the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies not only introduced their bill but passed it through to move on to the House Ways and Means Committee to be heard.

Sports betting legalization in Massachusetts estimates an annual revenue profit of $20 million.

Massachusetts And Sports Betting

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is an advocate for making gambling on sporting events a legal hobby. In fact, the Governor himself drew up his own bill last year that failed to make any traction within the Massachusetts Legislature.

It has been theorized that should a piece of sports betting legislation land on Governor Baker’s desk that he would more than likely sign it into law as he’s been in favor of a legal sports betting market from the start.

MA HB 4559 has until the end of July to pass through both the House and the Senate before seeking the signature of Governor Baker to make sports betting legal in the commonwealth. In January, Baker was interviewed by radio station WEEI where he discussed legal gambling on sports for the Bay State,

“I bring this issue up on a relatively frequent basis with my colleagues in the Legislature and have not made much progress on it,” said Governor Baker to WEEI. “You’re reminding me; I will bring it up again.”

“Right now, most of the New England states are either doing it or going to be doing it soon. And it seems to me like this is something that is going to become available in most states and people in Massachusetts should be able to play in Massachusetts.”

What Would The Bill Bring To Massachusetts?

Unlike Baker’s proposal, House Bill 4559 would allow for collegiate wagering on sports competitions. There is a 10% tax rate on land-based sportsbooks and a 12% rate for all internet sports betting platforms for which there will be five as stipulated within the bill.

DraftKings is expected to be one of the online operators in the Bay State as they have their headquarters in Boston.

With the current state of the world amid the Coronavirus pandemic, sports betting is not a topic that will be first in line to be discussed by Massachusetts lawmakers when they are back in session. Areas centered around the economic damage done by the pandemic will be at the top of the list.

However, this could prove to be a good thing for legalizing sports betting as it could bring in a whole new revenue stream that is estimated to be in the millions. This could help absorb some of the losses that Massachusetts has endured due to COVID-19.

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