Sports betting goes before Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday – Boston Herald

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Don’t break out your gambling money yet: It may be some time before the state’s recently passed sports betting law kicks in, with many details left to be decided by the state’s ruling gambling body.

“In an overnight session, the Legislature went a few extra innings to deliver a victory on a long-awaited sports betting bill,” said Brandt Iden, head of U.S. Government Affairs at Sportradar, which provides sports data to the MLB and NBA.

He added that “key details have been left to the gaming commission,” but betting is coming to a local venue soon.

Passed early Monday several hours after the Legislature was due to end the formal portion of their two-year session, the state’s new gambling rules have gone to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for consideration.

The law, as written, will allow gambling on professional sports and college sports that don’t involve a Massachusetts university team, unless that team is in a tournament.

What Baker does with the law now that he has it in hand is hard to say.

He has the ability to veto it and there isn’t much the Legislature can do now that formal sessions have ended.

Baker has signaled his support for sports betting and said he would like to sign legislation this year, before the end of his term. The governor announced last year he would not seek a third term.

His administration does not routinely comment on recently passed legislation ahead of signing.

If Baker signs the bill without any further amendments the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will oversee the betting program, could take up the matter at its next session, scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m.

“The MGC is reviewing the sports wagering bill that was passed by the legislature on August 1, 2022. As all proposed legislation over the course of this session has designated the Commission as regulator of a potential emerging sports wagering industry, staff have been diligently preparing should such proposed legislation become law,” that group said in a meeting announcement.

According to the Commission, the meeting will include the development of a “Chief of Sports Wagering” position and review of draft licensing applications and the regulatory process.

The Commission’s meeting agenda does not indicate when sports betting will go live in Massachusetts, and the law itself does not include an implementation date but does give the power to manage implementation to the gaming commission.

Even when the law does go online, Gov. Chris Sununu, who has frequently ribbed his colleague in Massachusetts for failing to take advantage of sports betting’s economy, said the fees and taxes in the Bay State’s law sill make the Granite State a more attractive place to gamble.

“New Hampshire continues to provide the best sports gaming experience in the country. Massachusetts’ trifecta of convoluted licenses, fees, and taxes on winnings means they will be challenged to match the gold standard of gaming success we’ve built north of the border. But then again, second place is nothing new for our friends in The Bay State,” he told the Herald.

Baker’s office did not reply to a request for a response.

BRAINTREE, MA. - JANUARY 14: Chris Sununu, Governor of New Hampshire speaks during an editorial board meeting at the Boston Herald on January 14, 2020 in Braintree, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
Chris Sununu, Governor of New Hampshire, says sports betting is better up north. (Herald file photo.)


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