The state of Massachusetts could be set to legalize sports betting to boost the economy that has seen a recent dip. The coronavirus pandemic has led several states to consider sports betting, and Massachusetts is the latest state to consider this proposal.Massachusetts is also looking to bring new jobs to the state, and the sports betting industry would accomplish that as well. The COVID-19 pandemic has extremely hurt most businesses in the state, and this new bill could provide some relief.
The bill that has been presented in Massachusetts is H.4879, and it is commonly referred to as “An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth.” The bill includes over 118 pages of rules and regulations, but it could transform Massachusetts’ struggling economy.
The bill includes almost $370 million in spending, and it would provide private loans to businesses that have been hurt by the pandemic. Education is another critical sector that would receive some additional funding as a part of this bill.
Sports betting was recently added to H.4879, and legislators are hoping to sneak this detail in to help boost the economy. The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies proposed adding sports betting to this bill, and it appears to have plenty of support from lawmakers.
There would be three different forms of sports betting licenses offered if this bill were to become a law, but lawmakers would also have to meet and create some regulations to guide the new industry. Governor Charlie Baker has supported sports betting previously, and he appears to be willing to sign this new bill into law if it ends up on his desk.
Online sports betting would also be included as a part of this new bill, and most lawmakers are adamant that this type of betting be offered in the state. Retail sports betting will also be allowed to operate in the state, and that could bring in a ton of new revenue for the state.
Details of Sports Betting Bill
State lawmakers did not take an official vote on H.4879 before heading home for the weekend, but a vote is expected to take place soon. Lawmakers appear to be in support of the bill as a whole, but adding in sports betting brings about a number of new debates.
The new bill proposes that businesses would pay a $250,000 licensing fee to acquire a sports betting license, and they would also have to pay $100,00 every five years a renewal fee. Casinos, race tracks, and mobile sports betting operators would be eligible to apply for a license, but there will be a set number of licenses available.
All gross gaming revenue would be taxed at a rate of 15 percent, and that money would be used for different programs and projects in the state of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would be the new sports betting industry’s regulatory body if this new bill passed.
Casinos Starting to Bounce Back
The three casinos in the state of Massachusetts are starting to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, but sports betting could change things in a hurry. All three casinos were forced to close on March 15, and the last casino reopened their doors on July 13.
Total gross gaming revenue has seen a significant decline for each of the three casinos, and they are all in support of launching the sports betting industry. The casinos expected to break some records during the current fiscal year, but the ongoing pandemic has each casino struggling to make significant mon