Massachusetts aims to fast track sports betting

The state is considering fast tracking regulation as part of an economic recovery package.
The state is considering fast tracking regulation as part of an economic recovery package.

The state is considering the inclusion of sports betting in a recovery package as a response to the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

US.- Massachusetts may be getting closer to giving the green light to sports betting as the state considers proposals to fast track regulation of the sector as part of an economic recovery package.

Authorities are studying the inclusion of a Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act to grant sports betting licences for land-based outlets and via mobile and online platforms.

Proposed amendments to the legislation go further and propose extending sports betting to bars and restaurants.

The current draft outlines three categories for licensees: category 1 covering all three mediums, category 2 covering in-person sports betting at Massachusetts-based racetracks, and category 3 covering mobile and online sports betting only.

The legislation includes betting on college sports but does not consider in-game betting.

Licences would be valid for five years. They would cost $250,000, with renewal costing $100,000. A temporary licence, valid for two years, would cost $50,000.

The proposal sets a tax rate of 15 per cent, plus a 1 per cent levy to fund integrity and security at sports venues.

Several amendments have been proposed to the legislation, one of which would extend sports betting to bars and restaurants.

That proposal has been welcomed by Fair Play Massachusetts. Spokesman Ryan McCollum said: “It’s really a no brainer; especially now in the face of COVID. We help out our small, local businesses and we allow more safe and legal access throughout the state, all while bringing in more much needed state revenue”.

Another proposed amendment would increase tax from 15 per cent to 50 per cent.

If the House of Representatives approves the legislation it will be passed to the Senate. 

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