Massachusetts Sports Betting & Wagering (September 2023)
Sports betting in Massachusetts is not yet legal. But, things could change between now and the end of 2022 as more lawmakers and residents support sports wagering legalization.
In 2020, several lawmakers proposed bills that would legalize Massachusetts sports betting. One of these bills is the H4887 that originated from the House, covering details about retail and mobile sports wagering. However, the Senate refused to pass the bill on account it had sports betting language in it.
In summer 2021, there were over 20 bills up for discussion. The House passed H3977 with a 156-3 vote. Meanwhile, the Senate had S269 proposed by Senator Eric Lesser. The two bills proposed mobile and retail sportsbooks, each with slightly different details from the other.
But, there has been no progress about these bills. With the formal legislative session ending in mid-November while an informal session adjourns on January 2, 2022, we do not know precisely when the lawmakers will put sports betting legalization to bed.
Losing revenue to neighboring states might motivate MA to legalize sports betting. Currently, residents travel to Rhode Island and New Hampshire as the two offer mobile betting.
But, MA is ready for sports betting. Already, brands such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others are lobbying for the legalization of mobile betting. For now, residents can enjoy other forms of gambling, including horse betting, games of skill, online betting on sportsbooks based elsewhere, and daily fantasy sports.
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Steps to Start Legal Massachusetts Sports Betting
According to state-wide gambling laws in MA, you have to be 21 years or old to play DFS, bet on horse racing or play casino games. Thus, it is likely that the state will adapt to the same law when it legalizes sports betting.
Usually, you have to register before you start gambling. During registration, the information you provide tells an operator whether you are of legal age and whether the information you are providing is truly yours.
So, you might be required to go to a retail sportsbook for in-person registration or register online. Whichever the case, here is a step-by-step procedure you will follow to register for a player account:
- Open a sportsbook platform and click on the “sign-up” button. A sign-up form will pop up.
- Fill in your details, including your name, resident, phone number, postal address, email, username, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and password.
- Click on the check box proving you are of legal age.
- Complete the registration process by clicking a sign-up button.
Today, sportsbooks offer their services on a state-by-state basis. For example, you will find BetMGM MI for Michigan residents and BetMGM NJ for New Jersey residents.
If legal Massachusetts sports betting was to come to the state, bookmakers would use geo-location security technology to verify you are within the state’s border. Thus, when registering an account, the sportsbook might require you to activate your Google location to confirm you are registering within Massachusetts
Mobile Betting Apps in Massachusetts
Currently, there are no sportsbooks or mobile betting apps licensed or regulated in Massachusetts. Looking at other states with legalized mobile betting, they tie sportsbooks to already existing casinos.
Already, there are three gambling facilities in Massachusetts. Thus, it is highly possible the state will start with three sportsbooks.
The first Massachusetts online betting app you can expect to see is by MGM. Already, the company has been present in the state with MGM Springfield Casino since August 2018 and is ready to open a sportsbook once sports wagering is legal. The brand has partnered with the WNB, NBA, and other sports brands, becoming one of the best in infrastructure and expertise in running a bookie and providing the best sports betting product.
Another app would be theScore, which has forged a partnership with Penn National, the owner, and operator of Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts. The app offers a 100% bet match of up to $100 and other promos that will go a long way in increasing your bankroll.
Lastly is DraftKings, whose main offices are based in Massachusetts. The company is an expert in DFS but has become one of the best sportsbooks in the country for incorporating DFS betting and sportsbook and casino on one platform. Thus, the gaming board is likely to consider it when licenses are open for application.
Physical Locations to Bet on Sports in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has three full-board gambling facilities. There is one western of Springfield, north of Boston, and the third on the south of Boston. All these facilities offer table games, slot machines, and other casino games.
Plainridge Park Casino
Placed off I-495 in Plainville, Massachusetts, Plainridge Park Casino offers live harness racing between April and November and casino gaming. With video poker, blackjack, table games, and 1200 slot machines, residents have enough gaming entertainment to keep them going.
The casino has a program called MyChoice that rewards members with free play and other offers. There are two main entertainment venues, namely the Revolution Lounge and the Loft, that offer live entertainment.
Encore Boston Harbor
Encore Boston Harbor seats overlooking the surrounding landscape and the Mystic River. It is a modern-looking building with a glamorous casino, five-star restaurants, luxurious hotel rooms, and shops.
There is also a 19,000square-foot spa offering massages, eucalyptus steam, facials, and all types of feel-good services. The casino has over 3,000 slots and 144 table games with a high-limit gambling room featuring white-glove service, extra luxury, and so much more to make you feel special and relaxed.
MGM is known for building top-notch facilities featuring luxurious characteristics. MGM Springfield is no different.
Opened in 2018, this property has 125,000 square feet of gambling space, restaurants, spa, fitness center, indoor golf course, bowling alleys, shops, and unique entertainment rooms, including the Plaza and Arial Ballroom. This casino also has military and veteran programs giving these heroes discounts on rooms, food, shows, and parking.
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Future Massachusetts Sports Betting Venues & Locations
Going by what other states do, Mass. casinos will have a chance to apply for sports wagering licenses. Thus, sports gambling will be available in Plainridge and Boston. The gaming commission might also decide to give licenses to companies willing to build standalone sportsbooks in Worchester, Lowell, and Cambridge as they have a large population and many facilities that can be integrated with sportsbooks.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Regulation & Laws
Following the overruling of the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA) of 1992 in 2018, states gained a mandate to legalize sports betting on their terms. Shortly after, MA lawmakers decided to expand gambling to include sports betting by introducing various bills. Unfortunately, most of these bills did not go past committees.
In 2020, the House passed a bill by a vote of 156-3, but the Senate rejected it. This year, there were over 24 proposed bills by April. This saw a lot of activity in summer, with the bill H3977 seeing many changes until the House passed it.
It was sent to the Senate that is yet to finalize the details about taxing and other regulations. If the bill is passed, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will regulate it.
What are the Tax Rates for the Retail and Online Sports Betting Operators in MA?
As the Senate continues to debate on sports betting language and details on H3977, we remain in the dark about tax rates details. At the moment, the bill suggests retail sports betting will be taxed at 12.5 percent while mobile betting will be taxed at 15 percent.
Legal Sports Betting Timeline
- November 2011 – former governor of the state Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act allowing the building of three commercial casinos in various regions across the state.
- 2018 – The US Supreme Court overruled the PASPA MA legislators who decided to expand sports wagering.
- 2019 – Various lawmakers proposed many sports wagering bills throughout the year, with none going past the committee because of minor disagreements.
- 2020 – The House worked on an economic development bill two weeks to the end of a formal session that year, supported it but was rejected by the Senate.
- 2021 – A dozen bills were introduced in both houses, with H3977 and S269 being the most likely to be approved before the year ends or at the start of 2022.
List of Sports Wagers Allowed in Massachusetts
The lawmakers are still discussing what to include in the sports gambling law. This consists of sports that players can bet on, taxing information, and other details. The state can decide not to have Massachusetts betting on college sports and stick to professional sports betting.
Sportsbooks will have to offer many types of bets to serve different needs for all players. You can expect to see bet types such as:
- Point spread
- Future bets
- Moneyline bets
- Proposition bets on basketball, soccer, handball, golf, cricket, American football, hockey, tennis, and many other sports.
Massachusetts Sports betting Bonuses & Bonus Codes
The sports betting industry is competitive, with many sportsbooks wanting to offer their services to their target market. To attract a share of a market, a bookie offers bonuses and other incentives.
One of the most common bonuses is free bets. This is a specific percentage that a bookie gives back when your first bet fails.
Another offer is a welcome bonus. It could be a 100 percent match-up bonus, 50 percent bonus, or any other offer.
This offer usually requires a player to deposit at least the minimum amount set by a sportsbook to get the reward. The bonus comes with a wagering requirement.
Sometimes, you need to use a bonus code to access an offer. Often, this detail will be available to you before you sign-up for an account.
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Massachusetts Promos, Promo Codes and Promotions
Whether it is Massachusetts sports betting or casino betting, lottery, DFS, or any other form of gambling, you will come across operators offering promotions. These include welcome bonuses, free bets, free spins, ACCA boost, odds boost, early cashout, deposit bonus, or any other. Find which promotions the operator is offering on the promotion page on a bookmaker, casino, racino, or any other gambling platform.
WE WILL INSERT A FEED OF THE LATEST PROMO POSTS HERE. CATEGORY → Promos TAG → <state>
Best MA Sports Betting Cities
Massachusetts is likely to follow the same procedure as other states to offer Massachusetts betting on sports. Sportsbooks will be tied to already existing casinos and a racino. But, there are several other cities apart from Boston and Springfield that could take a gambling property.
As the fourth most populated city in MA after Boston, Worchester, and Springfield, it would make sense to bring a sportsbook here. The town is a tourist attraction venue, and adding a sportsbook would tap money from visitors and residents.
Lowell acts as an excellent example of a scenic location in New England. Over the years, Lowell has become one of the best tourist destinations. Just like Las Vegas, this town would become an ideal gaming city.
With a population of over 200,000, one of the oldest ball fields in the country, Cascading Waters, and other attractions, this city has many ways of enticing visitors and keeping them entertained. While at it, they can engage in sports betting.
MA Teams to Bet On
The Bay State is home to some of the most popular sports teams in the country. These teams have made a significant contribution in bringing residents of this state together. Below, we look at different sports teams you can expect to bet on once Massachusetts betting on sports is licensed.
The New England Patriots
With six championships under its belt, this team based in the heart of Boston is famous across the country and other parts of the world. Once the National Football League kicks, you will have a busy betting activity.
Representing basketball fans in Mass, the Celtics take basketball to the next level when on the pitch. Once the National Basketball League season is on, games featuring Celtics are often shown on TV. The Celtics have produced many basketball stars, including Larry Legend, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo.
The state also has a team representing it during the National Hockey League called Boston Bruins. This team has not only entertained residents at the TD. Gardens produced big players such as Cam Neely, Ray Borque, and Bobby Orr. As a big team, it stays in a league long enough such that you will bet on it as long as you want to support the home team.
The Boston Red Sox
Playing in Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox has several championships to its name. Bringing residents together than any other team in the state, the Red Sox will have you betting on it during the World Series once Massachusetts sports wagering is legal.
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution represents the state during soccer events. Once sports gambling is legal, you can expect to bet on MLS teams as well as World Cup, EURO, EPL, and other teams.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Revenue Numbers
The state will start seeing the revenue it generates once domestic sportsbooks are operational. For now, there is no data about sports betting revenue in MA.
Quick Glance at Massachusetts Gambling & Industries
Massachusetts may not have legal online gambling at the moment. But, its residents have other gambling entertainment options, including horse racing, daily fantasy sports, land-based casinos, lottery, poker, and esports.
Massachusetts Horse Racing Status
Shortly after pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in Massachusetts, Suffolk Downs Horse Racing Track was established in 1935. In 1999, Plainridge Racecourse opened to harness horse racing in Plainville. It offers both live and simulcast racing.
Today, only Plainridge Park offers horse racing after applying for a new license in 2020. Anyone who wants to participate in a horse race except bettors must get a license from the Division of Horse Racing.
DFS / Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts
Massachusetts regulated daily fantasy sports in 2016. The passing of the economic development bill allowed fantasy sports operators to offer sports contests until July 2018 as per regulations set by Attorney General Maura Healey. At the time, DFS was not taxed.
Fortunately, the bill was amended to make DFS permanently legal. Although no taxes were imposed on DFS, that might change before the end of 2021 if the current talk on amending the law to put 12.5 percent tax on DFS winnings is agreed upon.
MA Online Casino Play
MA is yet to legalize online casinos. But, residents find legalized offshore casinos to play online games. Meanwhile, players can also visit any of the three fully-serviced casinos in Massachusetts, including Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, or MGM Springfield, to play all types of casino games.
Massachusetts Online Lottery
In 1971, Massachusetts passed a bill to legalize state lottery to create the revenue needed to complete various projects. In 1972, the first lottery game, dubbed “The Game,” was played with several winning a weekly draw of $50,000. Several years down the line, Maria Grasso won a whopping $197million jackpot. Today, this game is called Mega Millions.
With Rhode Island legalizing online lotto last year, MA lawmakers started pushing for the legalization of online lottery. Although the legalization is yet to come true, it is likely.
Massachusetts Poker Rules
The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 allows casinos in Massachusetts to offer live poker games. Yet, residents still find online poker rooms to satiate their needs to play many poker variants.
This was noted, leading to amendment #365 to bill H3400 to allow internet poker licenses. Although this amendment did not go through, residents are still hopeful that the state will legalize online poker alongside sports betting and online casinos.
Massachusetts Esports Scene
Esports is a popular form of gaming, especially among teenagers and youth between 25 and 29 years. Americans enjoy betting on esports such as Dota 2, LoL, CS: GO, Overwatch and others. These forms of betting are offered by sportsbooks.
This form of gambling is usually considered when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission forms committees to look into sports betting and other legalization. For now, this million-dollar form of gaming is not legalized in MA but might be in the future.
How to Become a Sports Betting Affiliate in Massachusetts
A sports betting affiliate is a system where you can earn a commission from a sportsbook when a bettor creates an account after following your link. Usually, you can create informative content to entice readers on why a sportsbook is worth their money.
Affiliate marketing works well where there is competition. With several sportsbooks offering their products in a market, you can decide to market some and earn a commission in return. To do this, you need to approach a sportsbook through its management and enquire about affiliate marketing with their bookie.
Usually, a bookie will provide information at the bottom of their homepage asking for affiliate markets. You can apply and start working. Unfortunately, you cannot become a sports betting affiliate in Massachusetts because the state is yet to mandate sports gambling.
FAQ for Massachusetts Betting
Is It Legal to Bet on Sports in Massachusetts?
No, it is illegal to bet on sports in MA. But, no one has faced any repercussions for betting on sports on offshore sportsbooks.
Does Massachusetts Offer Mobile Sports Betting or Retail Only?
The state is not offering either mobile sports betting or retail betting at the moment.
Can I Sign Up to Bet on Sports in MA Remotely, or Do I Have to Physically Visit the Retail Sportsbook Location?
You can register at any sportsbook in the USA or other countries from anywhere in the state.
Who Regulates Massachusetts Sports Betting?
Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Massachusetts Lottery Commission are the two gaming boards in the state. But, MGC is likely to regulate sports wagering once it is legalized.
When Was Massachusetts Sports Betting Legalized?
Sports betting is not yet legal in MA.
Who Placed the First Bet in the State of Massachusetts?
We do not have this information as of yet because the state has yet to legalize sports betting.
Can You Bet on “In State” College Games in Massachusetts?
Yes, offshore sportsbooks and bookies in neighboring states feature betting lines of college games in Massachusetts.
Are Wagers for All Professional Sports Leagues and Teams Accepted in MA?
All proposed bills in the past indicate wagers for all professional sports leagues and teams will be accepted in MA.
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