Massachusetts Lawmaker Proposes Sports Betting Tax Hike

Massachusetts Senator John Keenan has proposed a state budget amendment that would raise the state's online sports betting tax rate from 20% to 51%.

The proposed tax increase will alter the Massachusetts Senate's fiscal year 2025 budget plan currently under review.

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If passed into law, Amendment 828 would put Massachusetts on par with New York as the states with the highest tax rates in the US.

It would also modify the Massachusetts Senate's fiscal year 2025 budget plan, which is currently under review by state lawmakers. The proposed budget estimates that tax revenue would amount to $41.5 billion in 2025, a decrease of about $208 million from the previous year's projection of $41.7 billion.

Since launching its sports wagering market in 2023, Massachusetts has collected $99.47 million in tax revenue. The revenue is divided between the General Fund (45%), Gaming Local Aid Fund (27.5%), Workforce Investment Trust Fund (17.5%), Public Health Trust Fund (9%), and the Youth Development and Achievement Fund (1%).

MGC and Operators Not on Good Terms

Gambling operators in Massachusetts face a challenging regulatory environment, which may become even more burdensome with the proposed tax hike. Some of the current requirements in the state include a $1 million annual licensing fee, an in-person vetting process, and mandatory promotion of the Massachusetts Lottery through advertising efforts. The state also requires age-appropriate logo displays and restricts the use of credit cards for betting.

More Regulation News

These and other restrictive measures have led to a strained relationship between the operators and the state's gambling regulator.

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) held a roundtable discussion on sports wagering limits and other complexities of maintaining transparency and integrity within the sports betting industry. Unsurprisingly, despite the others receiving invitations, only one operator, Bally's, attended the event.

While the commissioners expressed their disappointment and anger at the lack of participation, the MGC did not indicate whether it would convene more informal talks on the subject.


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