BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday he plans to file legislation that would legalize professional sports gambling in the state. Betting on college sports would not be allowed under the proposal.
If approved, the bill would allow the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to issue Category 1 sport wagering licenses to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, which is scheduled to open this year. Plainridge Park would be eligible for a Category 2 license.
In a statement, Baker said the plan would allow the state to thoroughly vet each potential licensee.
Expanding Massachusetts’ developing gaming industry to include wagering on professional sports is an opportunity for Massachusetts to invest in local aid while remaining competitive with many other states pursuing similar regulations. Our legislation puts forth a series of commonsense proposals to ensure potential licensees are thoroughly vetted and safeguards are in place to protect against problem gambling and illegal activity. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature to pass this bill into law.
An application fee would be set at $100,000. Once approved, an applicant would pay fees of at least $500,000 that need to be renewed every five years.
In person licensees would pay a tax rate of 10 percent while online wagering would be taxed at 12.5 percent. Revenue would go to the Gaming Local Aid Fund.
In an effort to “level the playing field,” Baker says a 12.5 percent tax rate would also be applied to daily fantasy sports contests like FanDuel and DraftKings. Those games are currently untaxed.
Baker’s administration estimates the plan would generate $35 million in revenue for Fiscal Year 2020.