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Massachusetts passes bill to legalize sports betting

Mississippi lawmakers may legalise mobile betting

Senate and House representatives in Massachusetts have finally come to a compromise concerning the details for the legalization of college and professional sports betting in the state. They reached an agreement hours before the close of the official legislative session to join the 30+ states in the US that have legalized sports gambling.

Even though both legislative chambers have passed laws on sports betting in the state in the past year, there were some reservations about betting on college sports. However, the Sports Betting Conference Committee – consisting of three senators and three House reps – finally reached a compromise.

READ: Massachusetts casinos eager to push through sports betting laws

Details of the bill are not yet public, but the joint resolution provides for players to place bets on professional and collegiate sports, excluding events featuring universities based in Massachusetts. However, there is a caveat that allows bets to be placed on college teams based in Massachusetts that make the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

Other provisions of the bill include the legalisation of gambling advertisements by operators. The bill also prohibited the use of credit cards to place bets, in a bid to protect against problem gambling. In addition, the proposed tax rates are 20% for online sports betting sites and 15% for physical retail sportsbooks.

The House Speaker, Ron Mariano, took to Twitter to comment: “I am proud to announce that the Sports Betting Conference Committee has reached an agreement on legislation that will legalise wagering on professional and collegiate sports in Massachusetts, bringing the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to MA.”

The bill, which came about after much pressure from the casino industry, will now move on to the table of Governor Charlie Baker to be signed into law. Even after the bill is signed, it is unlikely bets will be made anytime soon.

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