Massachussets and Connecticut governors want in on sports betting

News on 18 Jan 2019

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker proposed the legalisation of on-premises and online sports betting in the State, Thursday, saying he plans to file legislation that would allow wagering on professional sports.

Under the proposal, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) would be responsible for licensing and enforcement of the gambling expansion.

“Our legislation puts forth a series of commonsense proposals to ensure potential licensees are thoroughly vetted and safeguards are in place to protect against problem gambling and illegal activity. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature to pass this bill into law,” Baker said.

Sports wagering would be open to Massachusetts residents 21-years and older and be limited to betting on professional sports.  Collegiate, high school athletics and eSports betting would be banned.

“Expanding Massachusetts’ developing gaming industry to include wagering on professional sports is an opportunity for Massachusetts to invest in local aid while remaining competitive with many other states pursuing similar regulations,” Baker added.

The application fee would be set at $100,000, once approved the applicant would pay a minimum fee of $500,000 for a five-year license.

In person sports wagering licensees would pay a tax rate of 10 percent, online wagering licensees and daily fantasy sports 12.5 percent.

Baker anticipates the generation of $35 million in tax revenues that would be allocated to local aid.

In related news, Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont has indicated the legalisation of sports betting as a priority for this year’s General Assembly.

S.B. No. 17, introduced earlier this month, proposes Native American tribes be authorised to offer on-premises and online wagering subject to some undoubtedly tough negotiations on amendments to existing compacts that would also allow the Connecticut Lottery to offer online Keno games.

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