BOSTON (WWLP) – Legalized sports betting bills have passed both the Massachusetts House and Senate.
A conference committee was announced on Thursday to iron out the details between the two bills. The main point of contention, whether or not to allow for collegiate sports betting. The House originally projected revenues of $60 million a year under its bill, and the Senate projected $35 million annually under theirs. The Senate version would not allow for collegiate sports betting.
A new analysis from the gambling industry news site, PlayMA.com found the Senate bill to be much more competitive than originally projected. PlayMA used national averages and data from other states and applied that to the current framework of both bills. The site found that the House’s version would bring in almost $32 million dollars, while the Senate’s version would bring in approximately $112 million.
It was originally thought the House’s version would bring in more tax revenue because it allowed for collegiate sports betting. However, the Senate’s version calls for higher tax rates.
Before the Senate vote, Longmeadow Senator Eric Lesser stated colleges and universities have been vocal in their disapproval of collegiate sports betting.
“The schools themselves are telling us they don’t want it, where as the teams and the player associations on the pro side are saying they’re ready to do it and that they’ve got processes in place to make it work,” said Lesser.
However, House Speaker Ron Mariano has said that if collegiate sports betting is left out of the bill, it would probably be a deal breaker. Governor Baker has said on many occasions that he hopes sports betting makes it to his desk before he leaves office.