Sports betting suspended in Massachusetts until at least 2022


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Sports betting suspended in Massachusetts until at least 2022

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The Massachusetts State Senate was scheduled to adjourn Wednesday for 2021 without making a decision on a sports betting bill passed earlier this year by the House and backed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

This means that legal mobile sports betting will not arrive in Bay State until January 2022 at the earliest. The chances of passing sports betting legislation in the Senate this fall were long from the start. Legal sports betting in Massachusetts is backed by a consortium of professional sports teams and betting entities.

Massachusetts Senate Speaker Karen Spilka cooled Senate expectations of any sports betting legislation in early fall. She said the importance of other pending laws, including redistributing, expanding mental health resources and distributing federal funds related to COVID-19, took priority.

With the approval of mobile sports betting in New York City earlier this month, four of the five states bordering Massachusetts have legalized online sports betting. The other three are Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Sports betting has been on the radar in Massachusetts since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court PASPA ruling authorized states to legalize the practice.

The last scheduled Senate session on Wednesday does not include any discussion of the current sports betting legislation on its agenda.

Massachusetts House Sports Betting Bill

The Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act (H. 3933) was passed by House 156-3 in July. This would allow people over the age of 21 to engage in sports betting at betting sites and in person at certain sports betting and facilities, including casinos and simulcast sites. Bets on business and academic events would be permitted, although no prop bets would be taken on academic results. The state’s reduction would be 12.5% ​​of net income from in-person betting and 15% from mobile betting.

Under the House bill, sports betting could bring in at least $ 70 million in licensing fees and up to $ 60 million in annual tax revenue from the betting itself.

Several related bills were under consideration in the Senate, some of which sought to eliminate betting on college events or limit the number of mobile licenses.

Sessions of what is officially called the Commonwealth General Court last for two calendar years beginning every odd year. The bill passed by the House remains viable for Senate consideration when that body meets again in January.

Legal sports betting in Massachusetts enjoys huge support away from Beacon Hill. A consortium of various organizations including DraftKings, WynnBET, BetMGM, Boston Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Boston-based New England Patriots and Revolution have called for bills to pass in both houses. Wynn owns the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Resort. MGM-Springfield Casino opened in 2018.

Fans are still hoping that sports betting will be up and running in Bay State on betting apps before Super Bowl 2022, which is scheduled for February 13. The surprising play from the New England Patriots, who are 6-4 in their Thursday game in Atlanta, could help cross the goal line in January.

About the Author

Bill Speros for

Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career has included stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.

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