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Sports betting in Massachusetts: Governor Baker supports bill content but 'details under consideration'

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Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday afternoon that he “conceptually” supports legislation to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts, just days before the deadline to act on the bill that sat on his desk last week.

Lawmakers sent a sports betting compromise bill to the governor last week, and Baker said on Tuesday, “We are still working out the details and, obviously, we will complete that bill in the next few days.” Baker has until Thursday to sign the bill, send it back to lawmakers with amendments, or reject it.

“It’s not a secret [Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito] And I have introduced versions of the sports betting bill in two consecutive Congresses.”This is certainly something we support.”

The bill, agreed by legislators at the end of the formal legislative session of the 2021-2022 session, authorizes sports betting in the state, imposing a 20% tax on mobile or digital betting and a 15% tax on in-person sports betting. impose taxes on and allow some. It’s not a college or university in Massachusetts, but it has banned college gambling and given the Massachusetts Gaming Commission greater powers to regulate new industries.

The college bet aspect was a major sticking point in negotiations between the House and Senate at the end of the formal session. , “talked about supporting some version of it… when it was discussed about six months ago”.

“So the language was not unfamiliar to us,” he said. “In fact, I think it’s used in other states as well.”

Both the House and Senate have expressed hopes for a fall launch date in time for the fall football season, but members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission completed the licensing and regulatory process last week. He tempered his expectations by stating that it would take several months to complete.

At last Thursday’s Gaming Commission meeting, Commissioner Brad Hill said the launch of a new industry “doesn’t happen overnight.”

“I’m not speaking for the entire committee, at least in my view, but in my view it’s going to take a little longer than people are probably expecting,” the former state said. A representative said.

Speaking to state legislatures on Tuesday, House Speaker Ronald Mariano said he would be “disappointed” if it took too long to implement.

“We have two hotels ready to open their doors as soon as possible,” he said. “I know Encore has made room, and I know MGM relies on this to make a profit. I hope you can.”

Both MGM Springfield and Encore Boston have sports wagering lounges on their gaming floors. The MGM Springfield Sports Lounge will be unveiled in August 2021 and will feature a multi-million dollar room filled with displays and lounge chairs.

Chris Kelly, president of MGM Springfield, previously said the new industry would “allow Massachusetts to return the revenues and jobs currently lost to neighboring states and the illegal gambling market. ” said.

“We are excited to offer local sports fans an immersive world-class sports viewing and betting experience at the Sports Lounge, along with VIP viewing areas within the TAP Sports Bar.

Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings previously said the decision to legalize sports betting was “welcome news for sports fans.

“Our next step is to work with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to apply to offer guests premium sports betting opportunities at the WinBet Sports Bar at Encore Boston Harbor and the WinBet App.

The Gambling Commission will meet next Thursday at 10am and Executive Director Karen Wells will provide an update on preparations related to sports betting.

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