August 5, 2022 Sports Betting, Legal, Land Based

Massachusetts Gaming Commission moves forward with sports betting regulation process

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This is ahead of the state governor signing the approved bill into law.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has moved to begin drafting sports betting regulations, following the recent bill passed by state legislators.

State Governor Charlie Baker has not signed the bill into law yet, but the commission has decided to initiate conversations with Las Vegas-based casino licensees, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International, as well as with several stakeholders during a “roundtable discussion.”

The Massachusetts Senate recently pulled the trigger to legalize sports betting statewide after several months of deliberation. Massachusetts lawmakers passed the recent sports betting bill during the final moments of its legislative session.

The bill will allow for a tax rate of 20% for online sports betting and a retail tax rate of 15%. It will include a ban on wagers for in-state college teams, with an exception during tournament play.

In addition to the approved tax stipulations, the state will grant seven online sports betting licenses, along with approving licenses for casinos and racetracks.

Commissioner Bradford Hill said the regulation process is not one that can be completed quickly.

He commented: “This isn’t something that’s going to occur overnight. This is going to take a little longer than people anticipate.”

Drafting and approving sports betting rules could take the state commission several weeks. Once completed, the commission will begin accepting licensing applications from operators and hold suitability hearings with company executives and key officers prior to granting approval.

MGM Northeast Group President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Kelley said the company is pleased with the state’s decision to welcome sports betting within its borders.

He said: “We are thrilled the state legislature reached an agreement to create a safe, regulated and legalized sports-betting environment for Bay State residents and look forward to Governor Baker signing the bill.

“This new industry will allow Massachusetts to repatriate the revenue and jobs currently being lost to neighboring states and the illegal betting market.”

Kelley went on to add that MGM Resorts is ready to engage Massachusetts bettors and sports fans.

He finished by saying: “We look forward to providing local sports fans an immersive, world-class sports watching and betting experience in our sports lounge along with a VIP viewing area within Tap Sports Bar.”

State commissioners said they will work “as quickly as possible to implement Bay State sports betting regulations.” Once live, Massachusetts will become the 31st state to offer legalized sports wagering.

The commission anticipates the state will open its commercial market early next year.

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