As of last week, Massachusetts introduced new bills in both the House and Senate which would seemingly allow for in-person sports betting at kiosks at bars, restaurants, sports arenas, and more. This new bill for sports betting was broken down by Daniel Wallach, a legal analyst who specializes in sports, on Twitter.
This is a massive piece of news as it drastically expands what sports betting would be in Massachusetts. It would not be contained to just online wagering from your phone and in-person wagering at casinos. This would allow sports betting to happen just about anywhere that would like to get licensed. Similarly, how you have Lottery kiosks at convenience stores, you may see sports betting versions pop up if this legislation is passed.
The Bills Themselves
The two bills that were introduced were HD.3606, presented by Rep. Orlando Ramos, and SD.2237, presented by Sen. Adam Gomez. These were strategically presented at the same time for both the Senate and the House.
These new sports betting bills have a lot of interesting language in them. As pointed out by Daniel Wallach, the most important bit has to be the fact that approved retailers could have sports betting kiosks. This would open up the floodgates to in-person digital betting being just about anywhere.
The bill has very explicit language giving the Massachusetts Gaming Commission power to oversee and hand out these varying licenses. This means that both Class 1 and 2 licenses for casinos and mobile wagering would be given up solely based on decisions by this gaming commission in the state.
College Sports Betting in Massachusetts
One big question for every state is how they will regulate collegiate gambling. Some states have no restrictions, some states have a full ban on college betting, and some states do not allow wagers on in-state programs.
In the bill that entered the House, the only reference to collegiate sports wagering prohibitions was “provided, that sports wagering shall not include the acceptance of any wager with an outcome dependent on the performance of an individual athlete in any collegiate sport or athletic event.” The interpretation of this statement seems to be that there will be no individual prop-bets for collegiate athletes. This is another popular regulation with college sports betting and basically does not allow you to bet on a single person doing something in the game.
However, what was not found was any kind of ban on in-state collegiate events. This means that it would seem like Boston College, UMass, and Harvard will all be fair game when it comes to Massachusetts sports wagering.
No High-School or Youth Betting
While very standard at this point, it is worth noting that the bill explicitly states that there is no legal betting on High School athletics or any kind of youth athletics. So far, no state that has legalized sports wagering has differed from this ban. It goes hand-in-hand with the fact that you will also need to be 21 years of age or older to bet.