Sports Betting Bill Under Consideration in Massachusetts

Sports betting is a hot topic of debate in the United States, essentially due to the fact that the US Supreme Court is set to rule in the Christie vs. NCAA case. This ruling could determine whether or not other states can finally begin to offer legalized sports betting activities. In Massachusetts, lawmakers are considering possibly legalizing the industry in their state, looking at both sports betting and daily fantasy sports legislation.

The bill, SD.2480, was introduced by Elieen M. Donoghue and is titled an Act to Regulate Online Gaming, Daily Fantasy Sports and Online Sports Betting. The bill would replace a current law where paid-entry fantasy sports will sunset by the end of July. The bill will also create a commission that will study the possibility of allowing online sports betting and creating online gambling regulation.

Currently in the state, the paid-entry fantasy sports industry is regulated via the attorney general’s office. Attorney General Maura Healey spearheaded efforts in the US with regulations for DFS taking shape in 2016. With the new bill, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission would be put in charge of handling daily fantasy sports regulation.

The bill would require that existing DFS operators pay a $100,000 or less one time fee. This fee is to be based on one-half percent of gross revenues earned within the previous year. A 15% tax rate would be set for gross gaming revenues. Currently, there is no fee or tax rate in the state regarding DFS.

Within the bill, the language also creates a commission that will review sports betting. The commission would only meet to discuss the option if the US Supreme Court decides to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Essentially, the state would be preparing themselves to enter the industry if it is made available.

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