Massachusetts gaming commissioners have warned that the launch of legal sports betting in the state may take longer than expected, as they prepare to create rules for the vertical.

The state legislature passed a bill to permit sports betting last week, in the final hours of the year’s legislative session, ending months of deadlock after the House and Senate had each passed their own bills with major differences between the two.

Under this bill, any operator of a land-based casino or racetrack in the state may receive a licence, and there will be an additional 7 online-only licences. All of these will carry a $5m licence fee.

Betting on college sports will be permitted, with the exception of matches involving in-state teams. Online betting will be taxed at 20% and retail at 15%.

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