The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday morning began polling members to gauge support for a sports betting bill in preparation for a full floor debate and vote on Thursday on a bill that would inch Massachusetts closer to joining most of its neighbors in allowing wagering on sports.

The bill (H 3974) being voted on by members of the committee closely mirrors the legislation released last week by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and would permit betting on professional and college sports, but not on the performances of individual college athletes.

The bill being polled by Ways and Means would also retain the same tax structure recommended in the redrafted version of Rep Dan Cahill’s bill (H 506), with in-person wagers taxed at 12.5 percent and mobile bets taxed at 15 percent.

Members were given until 10:30 a.m. to vote on the bill, with the House preparing to meet in an informal session at 11 a.m.

Ways and Means Committee were also voting Wednesday on two other bills that would extend authorization for the simulcasting of horse races until July 31, 2022 and set the terms of borrowing for the $200 million in Chapter 90 local road and bridge repair funding passed and signed last week by Gov. Charlie Baker.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

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