It sounds like the Boston Red Sox are ready for a DraftKings Sportsbook at Fenway Park – if MA sports betting law allows it, of course.
Like most DFS agreements these days, though, it seems this is just the beginning for the two. There is still no consensus proposal for sports betting in Massachusetts, which leaves the door open for professional teams to get involved.
Red Sox, DraftKings leave door open on MA sports betting …
One thing from Wednesday’s press release is clear – both sides want to work together in more than just DFS:
“We are thrilled to team up with a historic franchise like the Red Sox and bring DraftKings closer to this passionate fanbase, which is even more special given our hometown Boston roots,” DraftKings Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said. “As a Boston-born company, we are well-acquainted with the devotion of Boston sports fans, and we believe the engagement possibilities of this integration are only just beginning.”
“Since 2015, we have worked closely with DraftKings and are pleased to now have this Boston-based company on board as our official daily fantasy sports partner,” Red Sox Executive VP of Partnerships Troup Parkinson said. “With millions participating in the world of fantasy sports, this partnership positions us well to grow our game and engage with our fans on a trusted platform. We look forward to deepening our partnership in the years ahead.”
… as long as partnerships are allowed
There is work to do before a DraftKings Sportsbook is found at Fenway Park though.
Allowing teams to place sportsbooks in or near their facilities was suggested by two amendments to the House sports betting proposal. That idea was shot down, but only partially.
H 3993 calls for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to study giving professional teams and leagues betting licenses. The amended bill passed 156-3 in the House last Thursday and was referred to Senate Ways and Means Monday.
All quiet on the Senate front
As of Wednesday, though, there is still no word on when – or if – the Senate might act.
Along with H 3993, the Senate has its own MA sports betting proposal in S 269 from Sen. Eric Lesser. That bill has not been amended since the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies hearing that focused on the state’s multiple sports betting bills.
It is still unclear whether the Senate will move its own bill or go with the House proposal since the two bills differ in multiple areas:
- Collegiate betting: The Senate bill does not allow any betting on college sports while the House bill only bans player props.
- Tax rate on sports betting revenue: The House taxes retail betting at 12.5% and mobile at 15%. The Senate wants 20% on retail and 25% for mobile.
- Differing license fees: The proposals would need to resolve this issue.
- Official league data: The House bill requires it, but not the Senate.
If the Senate passes S 269, a conference committee could be the most likely outcome to reach a compromise.