Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker files sports betting bill

SPRINGFILD, Mass. (WWLP) - Gov. Charlie Baker has filed legislation to authorize the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to license the state's three casino operators to make sports betting available to people over the age of 21.

Existing casinos like MGM Springfield could apply for a license to allow for sports betting lounges and can also contract with outside vendors for online betting.

In addition to the casinos taking bets on professional sports teams, online-only operators such as DraftKings will also be able to apply for a license to host sports betting on their web platforms.

The gambling expansion would make Massachusetts the second state in New England to allow betting on sports since the United States Supreme Court gave states the option to do so last spring.

Rhode Island is among eight states that currently have legal sports betting. "I have a couple of friends that always have to go Rhode Island to make bets," Samuel Sevelo said. "And it's very inconvenient for them."

MGM Springfield President and COO Michael Mathis said he looks forward to working with policymakers on the legislation.

"MGM is a big brand they are all across the country," Sevelo added. "That definitely gives people more of a protection with their bets."

Baker's bill requires a $100,000 application fee and $500,000 for a license that would have to be renewed every five years.

There's no timeline established yet for when sports gambling would be legal in Massachusetts.