Massachusetts Urged to Pass Sports Betting Bill by New Jersey Governor

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has become the latest to have his say on the proposal of introducing online sports betting to the state of Massachusetts.

Murphy’s constituency has long been one of the biggest sports betting states in the US and is now advocating that their neighbours embrace the activity. New Jersey was the first US state to record a monthly betting handle in excess of $1 billion in October 2021 and recorded a handle of $1.120 billion in March 2022.

At the time of writing, the only Massachusetts sportsbooks that are available are classed as offshore sportsbooks that you can place wagers on via your mobile phone. When asked about the potential of Massachusetts legalizing state-based sports betting, Murphy was emphatic in his answer.

“I’d do it. We’ve long ago beaten Nevada in terms of the monthly handle, and we’ve stayed high even though New York has now legalized.

“We’ve also been able to attract a lot of jobs into New Jersey because it’s a fintech business … It’s been a home run. I wholeheartedly endorse it.”

Previously, the Massachusetts Senate and House passed separate sporting bills that disagreed on a number of different topics. The biggest issue was the stance on wagering on college sports — the Senate were against the idea, while the House was in support of college sports wagering.

This issue could ultimately leave March Madness betting sites and NCAA betting sites out in the cold and leave sports bettors without a significant market to bet on.

Other major differences include the level of tax that they want to charge on retail sports betting. The Senate have agreed on a tax rate of 20% for retail sports betting and 35% for online. The House bill has a lower proposed tax rate of 15% for online and 12.5% for retail.

It has been projected that sports betting could generate $35 million in tax revenue annually in Massachusetts but the Senate and House will need to come to an agreement on their differences first. Should they agree terms, Governor Charlie Baker can then sign the bill into state law.

Baker himself is an advocate of sports betting and feels they are missing out on tax revenue to bordering states. “There are a lot of people who literally drive over the border just to be able to bet on things like the Super Bowl and March Madness and some of the other big events,” he said.