Feb 27, 2024 - News

Massachusetts sports betting market blew past tax revenue projections in first year

Share of tax revenue from sports betting
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Cartogram: Jared Whalen/Axios

Massachusetts collected nearly twice as much in taxes during its first year of sports betting as lawmakers projected.

Why it matters: Online sportsbooks have kept the money flowing into the state's coffers in their first year despite concerns about Massachusetts wading into an oversaturated market.

Driving the news: Sportsbooks reported more than $542 million in taxable revenue between February 2023, when retail sportsbooks launched, and last month, per regulatory data.

  • Massachusetts collected more than $108 million in sports betting taxes in that time frame.
  • More than 98% of the revenue and taxes come from online sportsbooks, which launched a month later in March 2023.

Flashback: Before legalizing sports betting, lawmakers who supported the move cited projections that the state would bring in at least $60 million annually in tax revenue.

Zoom in: Like in many states, Massachusetts sportsbooks saw the highest activity during the NFL season.

  • Their collective monthly revenue peaked last month, reporting more than $71 million in taxable revenue in the weeks before the Super Bowl.
  • Again, the vast majority of the revenue came from online sportsbooks.

Reality check: Massachusetts' sports betting taxes make up a small share of the state's tax revenue.

  • The state relies on tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue.

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