Massachusetts Rep “Hopeful” Sports Betting Bill Approved This Month

Massachusetts Rep "Hopeful" Sports Betting Bill Approved This Month

Red Sox dugout celebration

Boston Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrates after scoring against the Detroit Tigers in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

According to MassLive, Rep. Jerald Parisella (D-6th Essex) is optimistic a sports betting deal will get done this month
Members of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives are currently negotiating a sports betting deal
Both the Senate and House have approved sports betting bills, but they are far apart in how they view the state’s sports betting future

At least one state legislator is confident in Massachusetts sports betting getting approved this year.

According to a report from MassLive, Rep. Jerald Parisella (D-6th Essex) said today at the annual National Council of Legislators from Gaming States meeting in Boston he is “hopeful” an agreement will be reached on a Massachusetts sports betting bill before the month is out.

Massachusetts Sports Betting by February?

Parisella is part of a six-member conference committee currently negotiating a new sports betting bill for the state. Parisella, along with Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-3rd Suffolk) and Rep. David Muradian (R-9th Worcester), have been embroiled in discussion with Sens Eric P. Lesser (D-1st Hampden and Hampshire), Patrick O’Connor (R-Plymouth and Norfolk), and Michael Rodrigues (D-1st Bristol and Plymouth) since early June.

This is one of the first public comments a conference committee member has made on the sports betting bill’s chances. A bill will have to be approved by both the House and Senate by July 31, the final day of the state’s legislative session, for sports betting to be legalized this year.

MassLive also reported this would set up the state to potentially begin taking bets by February 2023.

Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a huge proponent of sports betting, will likely sign a bill if one finds its way to his desk.

Key Sports Betting Differences

Despite Parisella’s comments, the committee members have their work cut out for them in finding common ground. The House and Senate approved sports betting bills both have key differences that may make a compromise difficult.

The Senate approved bill sets its retail sports betting tax rate at 20% and the online sports betting tax rate at 35%. The bill allows for sports bets to be funded by debit cards or digital payment, but does not allow for credit cards to fund bets.

The bill also does not allow college sports betting and also imposes some of the strictest restrictions on marketing and advertising in the country. The law would not allow televised sports events in Massachusetts to air sports betting advertisements or broadcasts to mention sports betting sponsorships on air.

The House approved bill calls for much lower rates, with online sports betting at 15% and retail sports betting at 12.5%, and also allows collegiate sports betting. It features much less restrictive advertising and marketing rules and allows sports bettors to fund bets with a credit card.

The Senate bill allows for nine sports betting licenses, one for each brick-and-mortar casino in the state, and six untethered online sports betting licenses. The House bill allows each of the state casinos a sports betting license and up to three online sports betting skins. It also allows one license per state racetracks (the Senate bill does not) and one online sports betting skin. Finally, it allows for unlimited untethered online sports betting licenses, as long as they are approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Author Image

Robert Linnehan

Gambling
Regulatory Writer and Editor

Regulatory Writer and Editor

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling. Editing/writing/creating a newsletter for readers across all formats.

Gambling

Covering regulatory developments in online gambling. Editing/writing/creating a newsletter for readers across all formats.

Author: Jesse Smith