After a long legislative battle, the state of Massachusetts is poised to legalize sports betting.
Early Monday morning, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Ron Mariano tweeted that the state government’s Sports Betting Conference Committee had reached an agreement on a bill that would legalize wagering on professional and collegiate sports.
The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, who is expected to sign it within the 10 days before it expires.
- Thirty two states are already taking legal sports bets in some form, with 21 of them offering at least limited mobile betting.
- Massachusetts will be part of the latter camp, as the commonwealth is expected to distribute seven mobile betting licenses.
- Legal sports betting will also carry a “very competitive” 15% tax rate in person and 20% via mobile applications.
The state’s House and Senate were at odds over several specifics of the bill — including whether or not to include collegiate sports as an offering for bettors.
Ultimately, the two chambers agreed to allow betting on non-Massachusetts-based colleges and universities only. Several other states — including Illinois, New Jersey, and New York — have similar provisions.
Mariano estimates that the cost of excluding collegiate sports betting from the bill altogether could have been $25 million.
While it’s unclear when the state will be ready to take bets, CBS Boston reports it could be available for the start of football season.