BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker has signed a long awaited bill that will allow sports betting in the state of Massachusetts.
This bill brings closure to the years of work the legislature has been doing to make sports betting legal here in Massachusetts, as it is in neighboring states like Connecticut and Maine.
The sports betting bill will allow people 21 years and older to bet on professional sports in the state’s casinos and through online platforms. Bets cannot be places on college sports unless it is a national championship game.
“Times like these, we have to be creative and we have to look at what sort of new revenue we can generate and because we’re… people in Massachusetts are already betting on sports. They’re just doing it in an underground economy or in a neighboring state and this is an opportunity for us to create that new revenue,” said Rep. Orlando Ramos of Springfield.
State Representative Carlos González says legalizing sports betting is a great revenue-generator for the state. If you are betting on sports in person, you will be taxed at 15% and if you use an online platform it will be 20%. He explains how some of the money will be used.
“Well some of it will go to the general funds, some of it will go into workforce investment trust funds. I think that’s key because it creates a workforce that we want to continue to have here in Massachusetts, especially when it comes to the Black and brown communities and the under employed people,” State Representative González said.
Despite the extra income for the state, González and others acknowledge that sports betting does present a temptation.
Marlene Warner, Executive Director at Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, told 22News, “We are a little concerned about the flood gates opening and the immediate reaction that everyone might have to go out and rush into sports waging and we hope that a lot of the provisions that have been put into the statute will be able to be put in place and be effective.”
It will be sometime before you can actually place a bet in the state of Massachusetts as the gaming commission is working on all the regulations, however local sports fans are looking forward to it.
While there is not exact date of then people are start placing their bets, State Rep. González projects people will be able to do so by the Big Game.