There are currently no legal sports betting options available in Massachusetts, but that’s not down to a lack of effort by legislators.
A quick search on the Massachusetts legislature website shows 24 bills relating to sports betting. However, the number of sports betting bills has complicated the issue with many legislators preferring their own or specific bills and therefore voting against others.
The most recent effort that many thought may see legal sportsbooks launch in the state was HB 3977. This bill allows for both mobile and retail sports betting and was passed by a vote of 160-0 in the house. The bill then stalled in the senate as senators disagreed on various points of the legislation.
If the bill were to pass, it would require some significant amendments following another review.
While this could happen in 2021, it may be more likely that new legislation will have to be introduced yet again in 2022.
Who regulates the Massachusetts sports betting industry?
Once sports betting legislation is finally signed into law, The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will most likely regulate the industry.
Which sportsbooks are available in Massachusetts?
There are no sportsbooks currently available in Massachusetts. However, if sports betting legislation is passed, the three existing casinos are the most likely locations for retail sportsbooks.
The three casinos are:
Plainridge Park Casino
This casino is located at Plainridge racetrack and is owned and operated by Penn National Gaming. As the owner of Barstool Sportsbook it’s likely that Penn National will launch a Barstool retail sportsbook in the casino once legislation is passed.
MGM owns and operates this casino in Springfield and will launch a BetMGM retail sportsbook if sports betting is finally legalized in Massachusetts.
Encore Boston Harbor
The Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Resort is owned and operated by Wynn Resorts. Wynn Resorts will no doubt launch a WynnBet retail sportsbook once legislation is passed.
There are also two tribes that are currently seeking approval to build casinos on tribal lands in the state. If these casinos are approved they could potentially launch retail sportsbooks of their own.
Sports betting apps in Massachusetts
Mobile sports betting will certainly be included if and when sports betting becomes legal in the state as all sports betting bills to date have included provisions for a mobile market.
Thanks to their current presence in the state’s casino market, the most likely candidates for an immediate launch are:
- Barstool Sports (Penn National Gaming)
- BetMGM (MGM Resorts)
- WynnBet (Wynn Resorts)
It remains to be seen how many additional operators are allowed to launch in the state as it’s unclear which of the many sports betting bills will pass into law.
We will update this section as more information becomes available.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were legalized in Massachusetts is 2016 when Governor Charlie Baker signed a larger economic development bill that clarified that DFS contests would not be considered illegal. This initial provision opened the door for major DFS operators to enter the state on a temporary basis.
The state then commissioned a report which was delivered in 2017. Then, in 2018, a specific bill was signed into law that made DFS contests permanently legal in Massachusetts.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the largest DFS operators in the state.
What about online poker in Massachusetts?
Gambling online in Massachusetts is legal but is currently unregulated. This means that players can register and play on international poker platforms that serve the state.
Given the state’s willingness to discuss potential gambling expansions, it’s likely that at some point in the future we will see specific online casino or poker legislation introduced.
However, as sports betting is currently a priority, it may be some time before we see any moves on the online poker front.
Massachusetts sports betting frequently asked questions
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
No, not yet although lawmakers are working hard to pass sports betting legislation.
When will sports betting become legal in Massachusetts?
It's looking unlikely for 2021 but 2022 could be the year that the state finally legalizes sports betting.
What is the legal age for gambling in Massachusetts?
The legal age for pari-mutuel betting, lottery gaming, and charitable bingo is 18 or older. The legal gambling age for casino gaming is 21 or older.
Will there be mobile sports betting in Massachusetts?
Yes, it's highly likely that any sport betting bill that passes will include provisions for mobile sports betting.