Massachusetts lawmakers file three separate bills for sports betting

Lawmakers in Massachusetts filed three sports betting bills for the 2019 legislative session on Wednesday, just in time for the deadline on Friday.

Each of the bills has a different purpose ranging from legalizing mobile and land-based sports betting to creating a commission to study sports betting in Massachusetts.

Senator James Welch introduced SD 882, a piece of sports betting legislation that would authorize the casinos in the state to launch sports betting operations.

Welch’s bill contains provisions for retail land-based sports betting as well as mobile sports betting.

SD 882 proposes a tax rate of 6.75% on sports betting revenue for establishments that hold a category 1 or Category 2 license.

According to the bill a category 1 license is defined as “a license issued by the commission that permits the licensee to operate a gaming establishment with table games, slot machines and sports wagering.”

A category 2 license, on the other hand, is a license issued to an establishment that doesn’t offer table games, has less than 1,250 slot machines and offers sports betting.

Senator Brendan Crighton’s bill, SD 903, would also legalize mobile and land-based sports.

SD 903 proposes an initial licensing fee of $500,000 which could be renewed for $100,000 on an annual basis. The bill also puts forth a tax rate of 12.5% on gross revenue.

Senator Bruce Tarr introduced SD 908 and appears to be taking a more cautious approach to sports betting in Massachusetts.

SD 908 would create a study commission made up of 11 individuals to explore the different aspects of legal sports betting in Massachusetts.

The bill states that the commission would have 180 days to study sports betting and report its findings back to lawmakers.

If Crighton’s bill is successful and the study commission moves quickly they could report their findings back to the legislature by the end of 2019.

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