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Massachusetts House Rejects Senate’s Changes to Sports Betting Plan

Massachusetts House Rejects Senate’s Changes to Sports Betting Plan article feature image
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Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Patriots LB Matthew Judon (9) celebrates with Adrian Phillips (left) and Ja’Whaun Bentley (right)

The Massachusetts House voted against ratifying Senate changes to its sports betting bill on Wednesday.

It’s the latest development in each chamber’s competing vision for what legal sports betting should look like in DraftKings‘ home state. The House and Senate are now slated for a conference committee where they’ll look to reach common ground on tax rates, advertising restrictions and collegiate betting.

In late April the Senate revived H 3993 — which passed the House last year — but in doing so it fundamentally altered the bill.

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Far Apart Plans

The House swiftly rejected those changes, which upped the online betting tax from 15% to 35%, banned all forms of college betting, reduced licenses to nine and prohibited betting ads during sports TV broadcasts.

The bill is projected to raise $35 million in tax revenue a year.

Over 50 amendments were offered before the Senate vote, though many were soundly rejected.

House Speaker Ron Mariano has been critical of the changes and even called the college sports ban a dealbreaker because it would likely sacrifice tax revenue.

Conference Committee Details

Reps. Aaron Michlewitz, David Muradian and Jerald Parisella will represent the House in the conference committee. Parisella co-chairs the committee that held the first hearing on the bill.

The Senate has yet to announce who it will send, per a spokesperson with President Karen Spilka’s office.

If they can come to an agreement and pass the same bill by July 31, the last day of the legislative session, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is expected to sign it into law.

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