Two years ago, the New England Patriots were preparing to play the Kansas City Chiefs to go to the Super Bowl, and Senator Brendan Crighton put the finishing touches on a legislative proposal to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts.
Fast forward to today and the Patriots are at home on the couch, but Crighton is exactly where he was in mid-January 2019 and again hoping this will be the year lawmakers pull sports betting out of the shadows.
Crighton is preparing to overhaul his sports betting proposal as early as Tuesday with a few updates, including a higher tax rate and a significant increase in royalties, which he said will generate the revenue it needs for Massachusetts before even placing a bet becomes.
The Lynn Democrat said it believes there will be an appetite in the Senate to discuss the issue at this session, although the Senate leadership has been slow for the most part over the past two years. He hopes his bill can provide an early direction for the debate.
“Sports betting is alive and well in Massachusetts, but unfortunately we’re dumping money on the black market and Statuss that have legalized, ”said Crighton. “I think we have a real chance here of generating income at a time when we are faced with great uncertainty.”
And he can be right.
Senator Eric Lesser, who chaired the Sports Betting Committee at the last meeting, plans to submit his own bill in the coming weeks. He didn’t think the business development was the right vehicle – that House had included legalization in his version of this bill – Lesser said the news service that he personally believes that “the time has come” for Massachusetts to join its neighbors and legalize sports betting.
Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat, said his position was only strengthened when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this month that he was in favor of expanding sports betting to mobile sites.
In 2019, when Crighton submitted his sports betting bill, the activity was legal in eight Statuss.
Sports betting is now operational in 19 Statuss and the District of Columbia. Three more Statuss have laws signed and on the books, and three more StatusVoters approved legal sports betting in November, and lawmakers must now create a legal framework, according to ESPN.
Crighton was among the first to offer a framework for legal sports betting in Massachusetts after the Supreme Court opened the door to it in 2018 Statuss outside of Nevada to get into the sports betting market.
Others followed suit, including a Bill from Governor Charlie Baker.
Crighton’s latest bill would create an opportunity for that StatusThe two casinos in Everett and Springfield, the slots studio in Plainville, horse racing license holders, and mobile platforms like Boston-based DraftKings offer personal and online sports betting.
Should thoroughbred racing return to Massachusetts, a new track could also be added to the industry, regulated and overseen by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Potential licensees would have to pay a $ 10 million royalty, an increase of $ 1 million in Crighton’s original bill, and the tax rate would increase to 15 percent. Crighton originally proposed taxing stakes at 12.5 percent.
“We believe this will continue to enable sports betting providers to compete against the black market,” said Crighton.
As with his original bill, Crighton is proposing to allow betting on professional and college sports, but not on college teams from universities in Massachusetts.
Several other bills tabled at the last session, including that by Governor Baker, suggested banning college sports from any new betting frame, but Baker recently announced this news service He would accept a framework that included betting on college sports because this is already happening in the neighbor Statuss.
“If we want people to leave their illegal market and get into a regulated market, we have to make this attraction available to them,” said Crighton.
The Senator’s bill also excludes any type of “integrity fee” for the professional sports leagues or venues that host games on which bets are placed.
Senate members of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee abstained at the final session to promote a committee-drafted sports betting bill co-chaired by Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante with Lesser. The Senate chairmen then ignored one of the sports betting proposals House on a major economic development bill in July.
It is unknown who will chair this committee at this meeting, but Crighton believes the Senate will be in a better position to review its bill and the issue in general after lawmakers get better at addressing it adapted to the COVID-190 pandemic.
“After the COVID hit, everyone’s focus was on the immediate public health crisis. And that focus really lasted until a few weeks ago. I think we would have had a debate at other times if we hadn’t looked, and I am confident that the Senate will consider it seriously at this session and that there will be an appetite for debate, ”Crighton said.
House Spokesman Ron Mariano accused the Senate of failing to legalize sports betting at the last session and said on the last night of official sessions, “If I could, we’d have a deal.”
Mariano, a Quincy Democrat, said it was a “shame” that DraftKings founder Jason Robbins had to go to New Hampshire to find a sports betting market, and promised to start the new session on November January 1 began to come back to the subject. 6th
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