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Massachusetts Senate Approves Sports Betting Bill

BOSTON (CBS) - Massachusetts moved one step closer to making sports betting legal in the state Thursday. The state senate voted to approve a wagering bill that would allow adults 21 and over to bet money on sports at casinos and from cell phones.

Sports betting is already legal in more than 30 states, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York.

The Massachusetts House passed a sports betting bill last year that would allow adults to bet on college sports and use credit cards to place those bets, but the Senate opted to strip those details from their version of the bill. The bill also addresses gambling addiction and recovery and provides six licenses for companies at could operate both online and at a retail facility.

"This bill has been carefully crafted to include strong consumer protections and encourage a competitive market for fun and responsible betting," said Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

If the House and Senate can reconcile their differences, Governor Charlie Baker has signaled support for signing a legalized sports betting bill into law.

Legalizing the industry would keep $35 million to $65 million in tax dollars in Massachusetts, according to Lesser, an author of the senate bill.

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