Online betting begins in sports-crazed Massachusetts

Online betting begins in sports-crazed Massachusetts

Online betting begins in sports-crazed Massachusetts

Massachusetts sports fans raced to their cellphones over the weekend to begin placing bets as the state allowed online sports wagering just days ahead of next week’s start of the NCAA college basketball tournament.

The start of online sports gambling came a little over a month after the state began allowing people to place wagers in person at the state’s three casinos, Encore Boston Harbor in Boston, Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, and MGM Springfield in

Lawmakers estimate that sports betting could generate about $60 million in annual tax revenue and $70 million to $80 million in initial licensing fees, which must be renewed every five years. The law includes a 15 percent tax on in-person wagering and 20 percent tax on mobile wagering.

People must be 21 or older to bet.

Among those who began betting online was Taylor Foehl, a 31-year-old graduate student in Boston.

Just after the start of online wagering, he placed a $5 bet on Purdue to defeat Rutgers in their Big Ten men’s college basketball matchup. He said he picked Purdue because one of his friends joining him at the Cask ’n Flagon sports bar across the street from Fenway Park attended the school.

Representatives of professional athletes are asking officials in Massachusetts to toughen regulations to protect players and their families from being threatened by gamblers.