Lawmakers in Massachusetts are making another attempt to legalise sports betting with a new bill introduced Friday.

The proposed legislation would allow the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to issue three types of operator license; Category 1 licenses for in-person and remote sports betting, Category 2 licenses for in-person sports wagering at a racetrack, and Category 3 licenses for remote-wagering only.

Operators would be allowed to offer bets on professional and collegiate sports and athletic events, motor racing, eSports, competitive video game events, and any other event authorized by the commission.

Sports bets would be broken down into Tier 1 and Tier 2 wagers, with Tier 1 applying to all bets that are solely determined by the outcome or final score of an event and placed before the start of the event. Tier 2 wagers apply to all other types of wagering such as in-play and require operators to use official league data to settle bets relating to US headquartered sports, with in-play wagering on collegiate sport or athletic events prohibited.

Operators must already be licensed in the state to be eligible for one of the three categories of license, with Category 1 licenses reserved for gaming licensees and Category 2 licenses for racing licensees. Category 3 licenses are reserved for fantasy sports operators who have been active in the state for at least one year prior to the enactment of the bill and are also licensed to offer sports betting in at least two jurisdictions in the United States.

The bill (H4879) sets a $50,000 initial license fee and $250,000 application fee, renewable every five years at a cost of $100,000.

Wagering would be available to players over the age of 21 and taxed at 15 per cent of an operator’s adjusted gross wagering receipts in the form of a privilege tax, with a further 1 per cent payable annually for sports wagering security and integrity.

All operators licensed to conduct sports wagering must employ a monitoring system, utilizing software to identify irregularities in volume or changes in odds that could signal suspicious activities and promptly report such information to the commission for further investigation.

The bill was introduced Friday and referred to the House Committee on Bills in the third reading.

Gaming Intelligence

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