One thing that we can all agree upon about people from the state of Massachusetts is that they are more than willing to share their opinion. No matter what the topic is, these folks have a thought and tend to be very vocal about it. This is definitely the case when it comes to government, and in particular when talking about the state of gaming legislation today. This page will review the current status of gambling laws in Massachusetts, and will also give you an idea of where these laws are headed in the future.
Sports Betting in Massachusetts
Sports betting is one area of gaming law where the state had no say until recently. Before May of 2018, all forms of sports betting were considered illegal in Massachusetts. However, the repeal of PASPA by the U.S. Supreme Court set the industry on its ear, and the fallout has been quick in many states. Massachusetts currently has a sports betting legislation on the table, so you can be sure that they are debating it actively and we will likely see a change in the laws soon.
Online Sports Betting
Massachusetts residents are for the most part HUGE sports fans, and incredibly loyal to the local teams. No matter if they are professional or amateur teams, there is always tons of support in Boston and other towns around the state. With this in mind, you can also imagine that there is a great appetite for sports betting. The bad news for Massachusetts residents is that there are currently no legal online or casino sportsbooks open and able to take bets from the region.
Players in Massachussetts will soon be able to enjoy online sports betting however, as laws are currently being debated. We will then be able to give you a head start on finding a great online sportsbook with our recommended list. The sports betting websites on this recommended list all embody the qualities we look for when looking to bet ourselves. Given our background in the gambling industry, you can rest assured that if we find a site we like, it is one that you should also be happy with.
All the online sportsbooks have slightly different offerings, so a comprehensive review is necessary before you pick one. In any case, each of these sites offers great promotions, excellent interfaces for bettors and above all a great selection of games to choose from.
Another side note to sports betting in Massachusetts is that the powerhouse Daily Fantasy Sports giant Draft Kings was launched in Boston, and continues to have its headquarters in the city. DraftKings, along with Fanduel, have made a significant splash in the regulated sports betting space in New Jersey and other states, and they promise to be a dual-threat for years to come.
Horse Betting in Massachusetts
Although there is an appetite for pari-mutuel betting in Massachusetts, the history of racing in the state has seen its fair share of ups and downs. There were at one point two greyhound tracks in the state (no horse racing tracks) that were opened in the 1930s. They both held dog races for decades, until 2008 when the state voted to phase out greyhound racing in the state. Local races ceased in 2010, and then one of the tracks was demolished. The other allows players to come to their facility to watch races from other tracks around the country, and with this simulcast comes the ability for gamblers to bet on these races as well.
It is surprising to think that there is no live racing in this state that seems to be so sport-mad. Weather factors into the equation, with there only being a short window each year where cold and snow wouldn’t be a problem. However, we would expect to see an expansion of an OTB network if there is demand for the product.
Online Horse Betting
Not shockingly, the track in Massachusetts is not allowed to offer online wagering to its players. This is one of the only reasons the track is in business – players need to go to the track to make their bets. However, over the years, several companies have started to take online horse betting from around the country due to a licensing clause in the State of Oregon. These sites, like DRFBets and XpressBet, give Massachusetts residents the chance to bet from their homes or mobile devices. This doesn’t seem fair to the incumbent operations in the state, but for now, it appears there won’t be any change to regulations.
Casino Gambling in Massachusetts
Another surprise for many people reading this is the fact that up until only a few years ago there was no legal casino gambling in the state. This is how the casinos like Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Connecticut became so popular – Massachusetts residents that wanted to play some table games have to make their way to one of these tribal casinos in neighboring Connecticut.
In 2011, the state government in Massachusetts decided to take matters into their own hands and passed a bill that would see the opening of 3 full casinos and a slots parlor in the state. To date, two of the three casinos have opened, and the third, a MGM resort, is scheduled to open just outside Boston in 2019.
Online Casinos in Massachusetts
Despite laws making land-based casinos legal, the Massachusetts government stopped short of making online casinos legal, which means that sites that operate unregulated are still a viable option for gamblers who don’t want to drive to a physical property. There are still dozens of online casinos available for residents of Massachusetts but these being illegal we recommend not playing there.
Legal online casinos in Massachussetts will soon be available and until then players can enjoy slots and other casino games in one of the casinos in the region.
When online casinos become legal in Massachussetts, our team of casino experts will spend hours with each site, looking for the good and bad aspects of every one before writing a comprehensive review. Including in this due diligence is a look at the software supplier along with the number of progressive jackpots available on the site. Online casino players love spinning reels to try to win Massachusetts live jackpots, so we tend to rank sites with big prizes a little higher than others.
Of course, what matters the most to anyone playing casino games online is security, but the sites on this list will be the safest out there as they will be licensed in Massachussetts.
Lottery in Massachusetts
The lottery is incredibly popular in Massachusetts. Lottery games take many shapes in the state. Starting with the Massachusetts live draw games like Powerball and Megamillions which are now awarding up to a billion dollars in some instances, to the daily draw games in the state and the instant scratch tickets, there is something for everyone. There are also pull-tab games that are available for purchase in bars around the state which are much cheaper but still give players a chance to win an instant prize.
Massachusetts Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
No, it isn’t, and this is something we are sure upsets the rabid sports fans in the state. For now, sports betting is limited to unregulated online sportsbooks and under the counter bookmakers.
However, in this new landscape in the U.S., we think that Massachusetts will be passing sports betting laws some time in 2019.
When will sports betting be legal in Massachusetts?
This is always difficult to predict, so what we tend to do is try to determine if a state has a chance to pass a law, award licenses and launch all within the calendar year. With a new government and legislative session, and neighboring states already talking about legalizing sports betting, our money is on Massachusetts joining as well and getting a bill through the Senate before the middle of the year, with an eye to getting sportsbooks up and running just in time to have locals bet on the Red Sox as they head to another World Series title.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Massachusetts?
When we look at online sportsbooks, we start with some of the promotions being run, and specifically any that are more regional. With such a strong affinity for local teams in Massachusetts, the Massachussetts licensed online sportsbooks that cater to the Boston-centric teams are likely to find lots of fans from gamblers in the state. Aside from that, the best sportsbooks are the ones that have the best prices and odds – finding a site that has 7 cent lines means you will save money with every bet, and that keeps your bankroll going further.