Massive news is being reported today out of Massachusetts. The State House has announced that it is preparing for a debate and vote on Thursday. The bill that will be up for discussion is H 3974. This bill is a revised version of Representative Dan Cahill H 506 and has the ability to legalize sports betting in the state.
If the vote does pass the Massachusetts State House, it would then head over to the Senate, where it then would need another pass. If both of these things happen, the bill can then be signed into law by the Massachusetts State Governor. If Massachusetts legalizes, it will join New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island as the 4th New England state to legalize sports betting.
It is clear the Northeast of the United States has moved fast following the 2018 Supreme Court Ruling that overturned the PASPA, a bill that essentially banned sports betting for the states. Other states in the region that have legalized sports betting include New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
DraftKings’ Home Turf
One of the more interesting things about Massachusetts is the fact that it is home to one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the United States, DraftKings. The company originated in the daily fantasy sports world and now offers online sports betting as well as online casino games. DraftKings has done a phenomenal job at marketing its online sportsbook and is undoubtedly one of the top three most popular in America.
Due to the fact that DraftKings’ headquarters is in Boston, many expect to see a massive push by the company to make sure it secures the largest market share in its home state. We could see some big DraftKings Sportsbook promotions in Massachusetts.
Details of Massachusetts Sports Betting Bill
The current bill will allow in-state facilities such as casinos, horse racing tracks, and even slot parlors to apply for in-person wagers. On top of this, each one of these facilities can also apply for as many as three mobile licenses. However, mobile sportsbooks do not have to be tied to facilities as mobile-only sportsbooks such as DraftKings could apply for licenses on their own.
The tax rate for sports betting is currently listed at 12.5% for in-person wagers and 15% for online wagers. It is also possible under the bill to trigger a 1% tax on wagers on events that take place within the state. The bill argues that this is a security and integrity tax.
The bill does allow for collegiate wagers, including on events and schools that are located in Massachusetts. However, you will not be able to wager on individual collegiate athletes, which should help curb some integrity concerns.
Massachusetts could turn into an absolutely massive market. Massachusetts has several of the biggest professional sports franchises in the United States and some very passionate fan bases. With relatively sportsbook and bettor-friendly rules, the market could explode very quickly.
At this moment, there is no way to pin down a timeline for launch, but sometime in 2022 is realistic if the bill passes both the State House and Senate.