On June 17, 2021, the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies in Massachusetts will reconsider Senator Eric P. Lesser’s bill on sports betting.
The bill is just one of almost 20 proposals for the appropriation of funds and legalization of Massachusetts sports betting. According to Senator Lesser, this bill would benefit the hospitality industry the most since this sector was hit the hardest during the pandemic-induced lockdown.
Lesser’s bill would allow the creation of separate licenses for in-person betting at horse racetracks, slot parlors, and casinos, and a mobile-only license. All the licenses would be regulated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The senator hopes that the bill would bring more people back into restaurants and bars to have a good time while the state could get a bit of revenue from it.
Six of the sports-betting bills that will be revised on the state hearing come from State Representative Bradford Hill and cover regulation and direct appropriation from online sports betting. Hill is asking for a nonrefundable initial application fee for DFS operators equaling $100,000 or 1.5% of the gross revenue (whichever sum is lower). In case of no baseline, the registration cost would be $50,000.
Another bill, coming from State Representative Orlando Ramos, aims to let local bars and taverns also join the sports-betting market. Senator Adam Gomez put forth a similar proposal.
The Senate’s minority leader, Bruce Tarr, believes that sports betting might bring between $30 million and $50 million in annual revenue to the state.
There are less than five months left to have a regulatory bill pass through to Governor Charlie Baker if Massachusetts is to launch legal sportsbooks before the 2022 Super Bowl starts. The last day for action is November 17, 2021.