‘Deliver sports activities betting into the daylight’: Sen. Eric Lesser says new invoice omits school and youth video games, focuses on downside playing
SPRINGFIELD – Senator Eric Lesser announced the details of his new sports betting bill on Monday. He said that while it generates millions of dollars in new tax revenue, it does not trigger bets on college and youth sports and is designed to protect consumers and the integrity of the games.
Lesser reviewed the bill in an online press conference, saying the legislation draws lessons from the successes and problems of legal sports game laws in other states.
“When done right, the idea is to bring sports betting into the light of day, legalize it and monitor it in real time so that potential violations or problems can be quickly identified and corrected,” Lesser said.
The bill provides for a $ 1 million registration fee for existing casinos and racetracks, and a $ 2 million fee for non-stationary venues. The difference takes into account the multi-million dollar investment in the existing casino, Lesser said.
The casinos now operating in Massachusetts are Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park.
Lesser’s bill would also set a tax rate of 20% on casino and racetrack profits and 25% on non-casinos, Lesser said. He described this tax rate as “moderate” compared to other countries.
The tax revenue the state could generate from sports games is difficult to predict, but it could be $ 30 million to $ 35 million a year, Lesser said.
These revenues will be a significant help to the treasury, but would be “not a panacea” for budgetary issues, Lesser said.
The law allows personal and mobile betting on professional sports, he said. As of last week’s deadline, several other sports game-related bills had been filed, including a bill from Governor Charlie Baker.
Lesser said his bill had built-in safeguards for the integrity of the sport and for the protection of athletes and consumers.
“It was really a balancing act, trying to encourage as much competition as possible, but also making sure that people applying for a license are serious about it and have the financial capacity to handle that type of security bet in order to be able to adequately (address) the risk during this type of betting, ”said Lesser.
The bill includes reporting requirements related to “abnormal betting activity or patterns of suspicious or illegal betting activity,” Lesser said in his summary.
Protection for gamblers includes disallowing the use of credit cards, which can lead to problematic gambling, and providing opportunities for individuals to add themselves to self-exclusion lists.
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