New Gambling Legislation Introduced in Massachusetts

Senator Eileen Donoghue of Massachusetts has introduced new legislation involving several areas of gambling. The bill seeks to regulate daily fantasy sports as well as online gambling, plus create a commission to review sports betting, if the US Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey in the Christie Vs. NCAA case.

Senator Donoghue introduced the legislation that now sits in the Joint Committee on Rules. Donoghue has experience in reviewing the gambling categories listed in the bill as she was the co-chair of the Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports. The group studied the gambling options last year and showed their findings in 2017.

The bill, S 2480, will create permanent regulations for daily fantasy sports, among other things. In 2016, Massachusetts legalized DFS, with temporary regulations set to end at the end of July. For DFS, the bill will require existing operators to pay a one-time fee of $100,000 or less or 1 and ½ percent of the gross revenues generated from the previous year. The bill will require new operators to pay a registration fee of $50,000. Registered operators will have to pay 15% in taxes on gross revenues earned.

The language used in the bill leaves the door open in the state for online gaming. Because of this, the state would be set up to authorize several forms of iGaming in the future, including casino, poker and more.

The loose definition of online gaming allows this to be so, essentially leaving the state with several options for their gambling industry in the future. For now, we will have to wait and see how far the legislation goes, if it can gain enough support to be passed into law this year. Massachusetts joins a growing list of states with legislation currently under discussion involving such gaming topics as sports betting, daily fantasy sports, online and more.

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