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Massachusetts Steps Into Sports Betting
Massachusetts sports enthusiasts are now able to place wagers on their favorite teams, as the state launches sports betting in casinos earlier than expected. The launch comes ahead of the highly anticipated Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. The introduction of sports betting is expected to generate approximately $60 million in tax revenue yearly. Operators will need licenses that come with fees ranging from $70 to $80 million. They need to review them every 5 years.
Properly Taxed and Regulated
The law helps regulate the approach to sports betting which is why a 15% tax on in-person betting has been imposed along with a tax on mobile betting of 20%. Although betting on college sports is allowed. However, wagering on in-state colleges and universities is allowed only if they are participating in a national tournament, such as the NCAA basketball tournament.
Encore Boston Harbor in Boston along with Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, are the casinos chosen for the sports betting kiosks. The MGM Springfield is another sport fitted with such kiosks. To participate in sports betting, individuals must be at least 21 years old. The arrival of sports betting in Massachusetts is a long-awaited event for bettors in the state.
A Bit Late to the Scene
Despite being late to the sports betting scene, with over 30 states already permitting it, Massachusetts is ready for the change. Marlene Warner, the CEO of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, a non-profit operating at the state’s three casinos, stated that they anticipate an influx of new people and employ advisors to assist casino patrons in understanding winning odds and to help those in need to put their names on a list that excludes them from participating in betting. The group is particularly concerned about young men, who they expect to see and who are one of the hardest groups to reach for problem gambling assistance.
Governor Maura Healey, who supported sports betting during her campaign the previous year, expressed her excitement for the additional revenue. Former Governor Charlie Baker, who signed the bill that legalized sports betting, had argued that residents were traveling to other states to place their bets.
Baker is now preparing for his new role as President of the NCAA. The legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts comes over 50 years after the creation of the Massachusetts Lottery, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2018, that banning sports betting was unconstitutional. Representatives of professional athletes are urging Massachusetts officials to strengthen regulations to protect players and their families from potential threats from individuals who bet on games.