COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2022
Massachusetts Legislature Legalizes Sports Betting
Massachusetts to join over 20 states where sports betting is legal
BOSTON – On Monday, August 1st the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act regulating sports wagering authorizing and regulating sports betting in the Commonwealth. The legislation authorizes the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant in-person licenses at gaming establishments, including casinos, racetracks and simulcast facilities, as well as mobile licenses through mobile applications or digital platforms. This legislation will generate an estimated $60 million in annual tax revenue for Massachusetts, in addition to collecting up to $70 to $80 million in initial licensing fees, which must be renewed every five years. The revenue collected will be distributed to municipalities, and for economic, workforce, education, and public health priorities.
“I’d like to thank the many Senators who have worked so hard on behalf of the Senate on the issue of sports betting legalization to bring this new industry to Massachusetts,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “I’d especially like to thank the Senate conferees, Senators Rodrigues, O’Connor and Lesser, who has been in the forefront of discussions on sports betting for many years. I’m proud of the protections for consumers and our college athletes included in this bill, and I’d like to thank Speaker Mariano and the House conferees for their partnership.”
“I’m incredibly proud that today, and after years of House-led efforts to authorize legal sports wagering in Massachusetts, the Legislature has acted to bring the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “Legalizing wagers on both professional and collegiate sports will create jobs and bring tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue to Massachusetts. I want to thank Chairs Michlewitz and Parisella, all the conferees and my colleagues in the House, as well as our partners in the Senate for recognizing the incredible economic opportunity that legalized sports betting presents.”
“Proud to join my legislative colleagues to pass comprehensive sports betting legislation,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “This bill will create workforce development opportunities and generate new tax revenue sources to benefit our communities and residents. Thank you, Senate President Spilka, and all the conferees including Representative Jerry Parisella and Senators Rodrigues, O’Connor and Lesser, for your leadership and diligence this session.”
“Massachusetts residents are passionate about their sports. This legislation will allow fans to bet on their favorite teams but do so in a regulated manner that promotes responsible gaming, while bringing in millions of dollars of revenue that has been going to our neighboring states or to illegal online operators and bookies,” said Representative Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “I want to thank Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, as well as my fellow conferees, Chair Michlewitz, Chair Rodrigues, Chair Lesser, Representative Muradian and Senator O’Connor for their tireless effort in getting this bill across the finish line.”
“With the passage of this conference committee report, we bring Massachusetts into line with the majority of states who have legalized sports betting since the 2018 Supreme Court decision and provide a foundation for a competitive legal sports wagering marketplace,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Senate Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means. “I want to thank Senator President Spilka for her guidance, along with my fellow conferees, Senators Lesser and O’Connor, for lending their voices throughout this long process, and our partners in the House, especially Representative Parisella, for shaping this final conference report that will increase revenue for our Commonwealth, foster economic development opportunities, and establish strong consumer protection measures.”
“An Act regulating sports wagering” includes a 15 percent tax on in-person wagering and a 20 percent tax on mobile wagering. The legislation creates the Workforce Investment Trust Fund & the Youth Development and Achievement Fund which will receive 17.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively, of the revenue generated by the taxes and licensing fees. The rest of the funds will go to the existing Gaming Local Aid Fund (27.5 percent), the Public Health Trust Fund (9 percent) and the General Fund (45 percent.)
- The funds in the Workforce Investment Trust Fund will be used to develop and strengthen workforce opportunities for low-income communities and vulnerable youth and young adults, including to promote stable employment and wage growth.
- The funds in the Youth Development and Achievement Fund will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education, and for after school and out of school activities.
“Once signed by the governor, this new law will open a new industry for our Commonwealth, creating jobs and economic growth,” stated Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “It will also safeguard consumers and athletes with some of the strongest protections in the country while maintaining the integrity of sports. After four years of painstaking work and research, I want to thank Senate President Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, Speaker Mariano, and fellow conferees Senator O’Connor, Chair Parisella, House Ways and Means Chair Michlewitz, and Representative Muradian for their collaboration and efforts on this final compromise.”
The legislation will also allow betting on college sports, with the exception of Massachusetts schools, unless they are participating in a tournament. People must be 21 years old or older to bet. As directed through this legislation, the Gaming Commission will be conducting a study into the feasibility of allowing retail locations to operate sports wagering kiosks.
“Legalizing sports betting is a big win for Massachusetts – this policy will generate new jobs and end the outsourcing of the practice to illegal markets and neighboring states,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “I appreciate the steadfast commitment my colleagues on the conference committee displayed as we worked through the early morning hours to reach a compromise. It was an honor to serve alongside them and I am proud of the bill we have sent to the Governor’s Desk.”
Having been passed by the House and Senate, An Act regulating sports wagering now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.