Massachusetts Sports Betting

  • A recent panel held in Boston for the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) discussed the potential Massachusetts sports betting market.
  • Representatives from the Boston red Sox spoke in favor of a sportsbook near Fenway Park.
  • Massachusetts lawmakers are working on two potential sports betting bills currently.

BOSTON – Sports betting in Massachusetts saw major support during the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) panel held in Boston.

The panel discussed the future of sports betting and representatives from the Boston red Sox spoke in favor of having a sportsbook near Fenway Park.

In addition, House Rep. Jerry Parisella spoke about the current state of the sports betting bills in Massachusetts and how hard they are working to make these bills pass.

“We’re trying to do what we can to make it happen,” said Parisella.

Sports Betting In Massachusetts

There are currently two active sports betting bills that would regulate the betting market in Massachusetts. Those are HB 3977 and SB 2844.

Both bills are on the main floors of their respective governing branches. The differences between these bills are their stances on college betting and how much to tax sportsbooks.

HB 3977 would allow for college betting and tax mobile books at 15% while SB 2844 bans all college betting and will tax mobile sportsbooks at 35%.

The details on college betting and taxes are what’s keeping these bills from a vote as lawmakers continuously debate on these issues as Rep. Parisella stated during the panel.

“Those are probably the two big things that we’re trying to hammer out,” said Parisella. “We’re meeting all the time, we’re trading back proposals.”

Red Sox Support Betting

Red Sox Executive VP of Legal and Government Affairs Dave Friedman also addressed the panel, lobbying for a sportsbook near Fenway Park.

“We’re focused with the leagues and the other pro teams on a different concept which is what some states like Illinois, Arizona, Washington DC, Virginia, and Ohio have done, which is to say when you have licenses for sports betting, give the pro teams or venues a licensing opportunity whether you’re the license holder or whether with a partnership with an operator,” said Friedman.

The Red Sox are also interested in having their own sportsbook similar to how Arizona granted sportsbook partnerships to local teams.

This is a growing trend in the US with markets such as Kansas and Missouri hosting major debates on including professional team licenses on their respective sports betting bills.

The panel left with a lot of optimism for Massachusetts to get things done. MA and Vermont are the only New England states to not pass sports betting legislation as of yet. Things could change should the House and Senate get on the same page.

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