BOSTON – Rep. Jerry Parisella is hearing it from his constituents about whether they will have legal MA sports betting this year.
“Jerry, when the hell are we going to get sports betting? We’re doing it already!” Parisella recounted Friday at the opening of the 2022 Summer Meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS.)
“We’re trying to do what we can to make it happen,” Parisella said.
Parisella and the rest of the conference committee negotiating differences do not have much time to make those constituents happy. The Massachusetts sports betting bill needs to be passed by the end of the formal session on July 31.
Working out big MA sports betting differences
Parisella stressed the conference committee is working hard to find an agreement, especially on the two key issues: college betting and tax rates.
The House’s H 3977 allows full college betting while the Senate’s S 2844 bans all college betting. The tax rates are far apart, with the House calling for a 15% mobile tax and the Senate wanting a 35% mobile tax.
“Those are probably the two big things that we’re trying to hammer out,” Parisella said. “… We’re meeting all the time, we’re trading back proposals.”
Massachusetts losing money to neighboring states
Those constituents hounding Parisella are betting one of two ways:
- They are betting illegally with a local bookie or offshore operator that offer no consumer protections.
- They are traveling to one of the four border states that offers mobile betting to bet legally.
Either way, that costs the state money.
“Unfortunately, we’re losing out to our neighbors,” Parisella said. “… Every year that legal betting is not available, Massachusetts is losing valuable tax revenue to our New England neighbors.”
New Hampshire reaping benefits
New Hampshire is about a 30-minute drive from Parisella’s home. He said he knows of Massachusetts residents that cross the border, sit in a parking lot while placing their bets on the DraftKings Sportsbook app, and drive home.