Massachusetts has created a law to regulate sports betting

Written By Michael Whitlatch

Massachusetts’ new law for sports betting: What it means to you

Massachusetts will allow state residents to gamble on sports. It has been a few years since the legalization of this behavior and Massachusetts didn’t know what to expect, but experts said it is likely that sportsbetting is a safe risk.

Amidst a precedent of states that have legalized betting after the Federal ban was repealed in 2018, The Governor signed the bill Wednesday legalizing sports betting. The Governor’s administration first proposed the sports betting bill in 2019.

The new law legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts makes the state 36th in the States, according to the American Gaming Association. The new law differs from the ones in adjacent states and Massachusetts will be taking time in implementing it.

Who can’t bet on sports in Massachusetts?

If you are 21 years old or older, you are allowed in Massachusetts to bet on sports. Unlike other states, like Connecticut and New Hampshire, an 18 year old can also place bets.

What can Massachusetts residents bet on?

There are restrictions. Youth sports and High school games are prohibited from betting. College sports in the United States have a special rule. If a college is in your state, you can’t bet on them unless they’re playing in an out-of-state tournament.

Betting is limited to college basketball games played in the regular season. One exception is those interested in NCAA college football bowl games – except if they’re in the four-team College Football Playoff, in which case you can’t wager on their post season games. Additionally, if the game makes it to playoffs for March Madness or the conference tournament, then you may be able to bet on it.

All existing casinos in the state are permitted to submit an application for a license to offer in-person sports betting. The Encore Boston Harbor has already built a sports betting bars with equipment for betting in anticipation of the law being passed – so they’re ready to go.

Learn how you can legally place your bets without leaving the state

You have to be physically in Massachusetts when you place a bet.  As of 2018, racetracks in the State can open on-site sports books. Additionally, seven other national betting companies, and three casinos in the State can launch sports betting apps. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is now required to do a study on the feasibility of sports betting in retail locations and make a report by year’s end.

There are no timelines or deadlines for the new law, but there is a task to license cryptocurrency exchanges by the Commission.

This is the law Massachusetts needs for sports betting

Lawmakers hoped to have football season up and running at the start of this year, but members of the Gaming Commission said it will take several months, at a minimum. It’s not only possible, but also easy to study other states’ licensing standards and submit license applications with the new licenses. Commissioners noted that they have been reading lots of books on this matter. The state needs to decide and formalize 200 regulations before implementing sports betting. The commission estimates that the timeline for crafting and approving the rules would take two to three months.

In some states, similar laws have taken around a year for rollout to be completed. Commissioner Brad Hill said during a meeting that it would take some time for the change to happen, and he is happy with that. He wants people to be patient, as the commissioners are learning about it themselves.

Why are credit cards not allowed?

To avoid substantial debt, you’ll need a bank routing number or a debit card to set up an account to wager on mobile. Credit card debt can be racked up by someone who takes advantage of the access to gambling easily from their home, causing problems for them and those around them. This new law will help enforce that and prevent credit card fraud.

What should organizers implement to ensure fair betting?

The Gaming Commission will set parameters, but they have some basic measures that the law has set. If people want to avoid gambling they can be put on a “self-excluded person” list and this list will be shared with operators that need to ban these names from betting. The commission must require guidelines for gambling, and show an anti-gambling hotline logo every time the app opens.

How will the government divide the sports betting taxes?

The new law taxes companies on the monthly revenue they generate from sports betting in three main categories: 15% for in-person wagering, 20% for mobile wagering and 15% from fantasy sports.

Massachusetts has a lower tax rate than Rhode Island and New Hampshire for gambling profits but is still slightly higher than some other states. This may help Massachusetts to compete with bigger gambling industries like New York, who impose a 45% tax on gambling operator revenue. Howard McGowan, the chair of provincial casino operator Gateway Casinos, has said that if they’re not able to budge on the rate, they may think it’s an interesting argument for operators to come here because it’s a lower tax rate. $60 million a year in taxes are expected, while the initial license fees will provide an additional $80 million every five years.

What does Massachusetts do with the money?

The Massachusetts Sports Betting Law divvies the state’s tax revenue into different categories of State’s needs. 45% of the funds goes to what the government needs, 27.5% goes to each city’s general fund, 17.5% goes to grants for poverty unemployment, 9% is donated to preventive health care, and the rest is given in gifts or recycled. There is a one-year time limit to claim winnings from bets on games and events. After this, the operator must take the unclaimed winnings and deposit them into the Gaming Commission fund to pay for its work overseeing sports betting.