Massachusetts readying itself for legal sports betting

By Robert Simmons
Lawmakers in the US state of Massachusetts have become the latest to propose legislation that would ready the state for the demands of legalised sports betting.

House bill SD2480, proposed by Massachusetts Senator Eileen M. Donoghue would continue the current Massachusetts state legalisation of daily fantasy sports contests, which were initially made legal in early 2016 beyond the current legislation validity period.

In a change from the previous state law, regulation of all DFS contests would be undertaken by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and take away from the state attorney general’s office.

Any operator wishing to offer DFS contests in the state must first register with the MGC, paying an initial registration fee of equal to less than one and one-half percent of the gross revenue generated by the registrant in the previous calendar year or $100,000.

Gross revenue from daily fantasy sports operations will be taxed at 15%, replacing the current zero taxation system. All firms offering DFS will be audited on a regular basis to be determined by the MGC.

It also provides for the setting up of a separate commission to study the possibility of online sports betting, giving it mandate to “review all aspects of online sports betting including, but not limited to: economic development, consumer protection, taxation, legal and regulatory structures, burdens and benefits to the commonwealth and any other factors the commission deems relevant.”

This part of the legislation would come into force should the New Jersey appeal against the validity of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) at the Supreme Court result in its overturn. Only at that point would the commission be convened.


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