Mass Legalizes Sports Betting

By TheNuts - Aug 13, 2022

Mass Sports Betting
Mass Legalizes Sports Betting 

On August 11th, ten days after Massachusetts elected officials agreed on a bill to legalize sports betting in the state, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed it into law.  When fully enacted, MA citizens will be able to wager on both professional and college sports.  MA colleges and universities are excluded, unless they are playing in a post-season tournament.  Betting on individual players is also banned.  Wagerers will be taxed 15% for in-person wagers at casinos and other select locations and 20% for mobile wagering.  And while 18-year-olds can buy a lottery ticket in the state, you’ll need to be 21 to gamble on sports.

While some Bay Staters are hoping to place football bets before the start of the regular season in September, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is trying to lower expectations, saying it could be months, or possibly even 2023, before legal sports wagering goes live.

Already this year, several states, including Maine, Kansas and New York, have made sports betting legal.  On May 12th Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 84 into law.  In an interview after the signing, Governor Kelly said: “Legalizing sports betting will bring more revenue to our state and grow our economy.  This is another mechanism that casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues can now utilize to attract Kansans to their establishments.”  Since January, New York has already seen a record $9 billion in wagers and $500 million in revenue, unseating New Jersey as the #1 sports betting market in the USA!

Also, in the closing days of 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law, legalizing sports betting in the Buckeye State.  Expect wagering to go live in early 2023.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia offer both in person and online sports betting.  They are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Twelve states only offer in person sports betting and they are Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

Three other states only offer mobile wagering.  Those states are New Hampshire, Tennessee and Virginia.

Another two states, Florida and Nebraska, have legalized sports betting but haven’t implemented it yet.

Meanwhile, both California and Georgia may let their respective voters decide during this November’s elections. 

So what about the remaining states?  Legal scholars think most of the holdouts will eventually legalize it, mainly to keep from losing revenue to nearby states.  Virginia is a classic example.  Despite protests from the citizenry, The Old Dominion kept rejecting bills to legalize a state lottery and saw all of that revenue go to lotteries offered in DC and bordering states Maryland and West Virginia instead.  Virginia finally put it to the voters in a 1987 referendum, where it was ratified by over 56% of the electorate.

Hawaii and Utah now remain the only states that outlaw all forms of gambling.  In fact, Utah’s opposition to gambling is so severe that it’s written into their State Constitution!

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