Since the overturning of PASPA in May of 2018, the question everyone in the United States is asking is “when can I bet on sports in my state?”
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For Massachusetts residents, it might be sooner than you think. Governing officials have started the process of legalization, and in March 2020, a bill was advanced that could mean sports betting could be legalized in July.
However, as of 2021, Massachusetts still hasn't moved to legalize sports betting and the state looks to be the only one in New England not to legalize betting before the NFL season starts.
Gov. Charlie Baker has always expressed his opinion that sports betting should be legal, but there will have to be some regulatory framework before residents can actually place their bets. The bill will authorize sports betting in three casinos, one slot parlor, horse tracks, and five online operators.
With over seven million residents in the state of Massachusetts, Boston is the largest city with the massive sports following. Home to a slew of professional teams, and loyal ones at that, sports betting definitely would bring in significant revenue to the state should they choose to legalize it.
Currently, all forms of betting are regulated by the state, including commercial and tribal casinos, poker, Daily Fantasy, horse racing, and the lottery.
Massachusetts is one of the few states that allows Daily Fantasy betting, but it is regulated and there are rules to betting, including no betting on college or amateur sporting events, and a maximum of $1,000 in deposits a month. DraftKings headquarters are actually located in Boston, meaning they will be vying for one of those five online sportsbook slots.
Suffolk Downs is the most popular horse racetrack in the States, the other being Plainridge Racecourse. The previous owner of Suffolk Downs plans to open another horse racetrack in the near future as well. Betting on horses is legal in Massachusetts via Simulcast wagering. Click here for more information on off-track betting in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Timeline
Sports betting has yet to be regulated and legalized in Massachusetts. This means that sports bettors there will either have to travel to a nearby state, or access any of the offshore sportsbooks that are legally available online. Accessing these online sportsbooks is a great option. As they are not based in the state, they are legally allowed to accept bettors who live in the state.
Early Attempts Get Through House
While the House of Representatives in the state has passed bills to legalize sports betting more than once, the Senate has not yet taken it up. This is proving hard to change, as even during the height of the pandemic, the senate did not choose to consider officially this bill with its extra source of revenue.
2021 Comes With Another Frustrated Attempt.
Senator Eric Lesser has introduced the sports betting bill in the Senate in 2021. However, no amendments have been added, and it has not been introduced for a floor vote. It does not look like they have much interest in opening up the state.
With nearby Rhode Island having opened up its sports betting market, it is likely that many tax revenue dollars are going to this neighboring state. With others like New Hampshire and New York also opening up, Massachusetts stands to continue to lose its tax dollars if it does not change course soon.
Can I bet on sports in Massachusetts?
You can, but for now, only online.
Online sportsbooks are the only option for Massachusetts sports bettors for now but are a great option nonetheless. You can sign up easily and make a deposit and bet from the comfort of your own home. Top sportsbooks in the industry, like Bovada or BetOnline, are great for betting on the NFL, NBA, and any professional sport around the world.
Betting on Massachusetts sports teams
It’s no question that the New England Patriots are the state’s pride and joy when it comes to their professional teams. The Patriots have 11 Super Bowl appearances, the most of any team, and eight of which have been under the Belichick/Brady dynasty. In addition to that, they have 22 division titles and 6 league championships.
The Celtics are the resident NBA team in Massachusetts and are one of the original eight NBA teams. Like the Patriots, they hold the record for the most NBA Championships with 17 – nearly one-quarter of all NBA Championships ever played. They’ve struggled against power teams lately, but hopefully, some shuffling and restructuring will gear them up to be a competitive team again.
The Boston Red Sox have a rich heritage in the MLB. They were established in 1901, and have won nine World Series - the most recent being in 2018. They went through a rough championship drought, the longest in baseball history, with 86 years between their 1918 victory and their 2004 title.
The Boston Bruins are the resident NHL team, and are a part of the Original Six, as the league’s third-oldest team, and the oldest team among the U.S. teams. The Bruins have three Stanley Cups, the most recent being in 2011.
Massachusetts is home to eight casinos scattered across the state, and most have a focus on horse racing. Three casinos will be home to sportsbooks in the future, once sports betting is legalized.
It’s slated that two of the three will be at the large resort casinos at the MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. A third casino in the southwest region of the state will be chosen as well. The Plainridge Park slot parlor is also going to be home to a sportsbook.
There is potential that there could eventually be more sportsbook locations, but that would require edits to their bill, and it only calls for three right now.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Massachusetts
We have compiled a great selection of online sportsbook reviews for new and intermediate bettors alike, which will help you make the right decisions when looking for an online sportsbook to play at.
There are specific criteria that we find important when looking for an online sportsbook, including deposit options, bonuses and promotions, minimum deposit and cashout limits, mobile-friendliness, betting app and more. We evaluate each sportsbook and outline the important factors to consider before signing up so that you are making the best choice based on your needs.