Rep. Joe McGonagle, along with his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature on Monday passed An Act regulating sports wagering authorizing and regulating sports betting in the Commonwealth. The legislation authorizes the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant in-person licenses at gaming establishments, including casinos, racetracks and simulcast facilities, as well as mobile licenses through mobile applications or digital platforms. This legislation will generate an estimated $60 million in annual tax revenue for Massachusetts, in addition to collecting up to $70 to $80 million in initial licensing fees, which must be renewed every five years. The revenue collected will be distributed to municipalities, and for economic, workforce, education, and public health priorities.
“I’m incredibly proud that today, and after years of House-led efforts to authorize legal sports wagering in Massachusetts, the Legislature has acted to bring the immense economic benefits of a legal sports betting industry to the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “Legalizing wagers on both professional and collegiate sports will create jobs and bring tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue to Massachusetts. I want to thank Chairs Michlewitz and Parisella, all the conferees and my colleagues in the House, as well as our partners in the Senate for recognizing the incredible economic opportunity that legalized sports betting presents.”
“An Act regulating sports wagering” includes a 15 percent tax on in-person wagering and a 20 percent tax on mobile wagering. The legislation creates the Workforce Investment Trust Fund & the Youth Development and Achievement Fund which will receive 17.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively, of the revenue generated by the taxes and licensing fees. The rest of the funds will go to the existing Gaming Local Aid Fund (27.5 percent), the Public Health Trust Fund (9 percent) and the General Fund (45 percent.)
• The funds in the Workforce Investment Trust Fund will be used to develop and strengthen workforce opportunities for low-income communities and vulnerable youth and young adults, including to promote stable employment and wage growth.
• The funds in the Youth Development and Achievement Fund will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education, and for after school and out of school activities.
“I am absolutely thrilled about this legislation finally being passed,” said McGonagle. “Massachusetts is perfect setting for sports loving individuals to lay bets and finally the people will be able to see some return on this, instead of losing revenue to other nearby states. Dozens of jobs will be created through this, especially here in Everett. This legislation was very carefully thought out and I’m so proud to have passed it this session and grateful to my colleagues, especially Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz and Chair Parisella for their hard work. I look forward to seeing it in action.”
Having been passed by the House and Senate, An Act regulating sports wagering now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.