Massachusetts Considering Sports Betting Legalisation

Viktor Vangelov | Published 28 May 2019, 10:24 a.m.

Legalising sports betting and other forms of gambling has been overly discussed in the US, particularly in some states. Last month we reported on Montana and the initiative to legalise sports betting in this state. It seems that Montana could be the next state to legalise sport betting. Weeks before that we reported on the situation in Nebraska and North Carolina.

This time it is Massachusetts that considers legalising sports betting. The Pilgrim State is going to hold hearings on the matter. Two hearings will be held this weeks. Oregon is another state that is mulling the idea of changing gambling taxation.

On the topic of sports betting, the NBA, America’s professional basketball league expressed an opinion, or we should rather say delivered an ultimatum to the state’s betting operators. Namely, operators will have to pay a fee to get access to official data.

Our last piece of news for today also comes from across the pond and it is regarding DraftKings and FanDuel, i.e. their sports betting ads that were pulled from Illinois and are no longer broadcasted there. The two companies simply complied to a request made by the state Governor.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Hearings

Like in many other states, lawmakers are having a hard time deciding on whether and how to proceed with the matter. It is so difficult to get politicians to agree on anything, let alone an issue as controversial as sports betting.

Massachusetts lawmakers will be considering not one or two, but a total of nine different bills. One of the proposed bills was submitted by the state Governor – Charlie Baker.

The first hearing happens today and during it, the committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies will be able to hear the pros and cons on the matter. The second hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, and it will take an open format where public opinions on the matter will be heard.

If it is possible for legislators to reach a solution, or even agree on the general direction, we can expect Massachusetts to become the second state in New England to legalise sports betting. Just a reminder, Rhode Island legalised sports betting last year, but the industry didn’t bring the expected level of revenue. According to the Governor’s proposal, the state would only allow sports betting on professional sports, not college and high school.

Oregon Might Change Its Gambling Tax Breaks

Currently, in Oregon and a number of other states, gambling losses, or at least a certain amount of them can be written off when taxes are calculated. That might change though, as the state considers discontinuing this policy.

The casinos and other stakeholders aren’t happy with this idea and they are going to challenge it. The Confederated Tribes which are part of the Grand Ronde Community are particularly worried that they would see a particular decrease in activities which will ultimately lead to profit losses.

In fact, it is the whole Oregon Tribal Gaming Alliance is opposed to the bill and they are hoping to block it before it gains momentum.

NBA To Charge 0.25% Of Betting Handle For Providing Official Data

NBA will only permit gaming operators that are authorised by the Association to receive official NBA data and the price that operators will be required to pay for the use of data amounts to 0.25% of their total betting handle.