The state of Massachusetts has had plenty to cheer about in the sports world of late, and residents of the state are hoping to add sports betting to that list. Massachusetts is home to Boston, which has some of the best and most storied franchises in all of sports. Ever since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018 states have been lining up to try and get a new law passed in their state. There is a ton of money to be made in the sports betting industry, especially if the state has the teams that can help get betting going. That is definitely the case in the state of Massachusetts, but lawmakers have yet to be able to really get things going in terms of legalizing sports betting. There are several states in New England that have already legalized sports betting, and Massachusetts is going to get left behind if they don’t get something passed in the near future. The sports betting industry is just going to continue to grow with time, and Massachusetts should jump on board within the next couple of years.
AT A GLANCE
Status of Betting AT A GLANCE: As many as six different bills were introduced this spring to try and get sports betting legalized in the state of Massachusetts. Even though nothing really came to fruition during the most recent legislative session, it appears that sports betting will be coming to the state soon. The governor has already expressed his support for sports betting, but there are still some hoops to jump through.
Where to Bet AT A GLANCE: There are currently eight casinos in operation in the state of Massachusetts, and they will likely get the first crack at opening up a sportsbook. Casinos in other states have been able to open up a sportsbook relatively quickly, and that should be the case in Massachusetts as well. Lawmakers have also noted that they intend to include mobile/online betting into any law that gets passed.
Teams AT A GLANCE: The state of Massachusetts has turned into the sports capital of the world with the recent success of their teams. There is no doubt that Massachusetts is the envy of every other New England state, and sports fans in the state have plenty of teams to root for. If sports betting ever becomes legal in the state of Massachusetts then there will be plenty of teams to help drive sports betting.
Status of Sports Betting
As more and more states in the New England area are legalizing sports betting, there is great pressure on the state of Massachusetts to keep up. Residents of the state of Massachusetts have been pressuring lawmakers to get a deal on the table, and there have been at least six bills introduced in recent months. The governor of Massachusetts has even expressed his support of legalizing sports betting in the state, but it is up to the lawmakers to come up with a bill good enough to make it through both houses of the legislature. It does appear that Massachusetts is on a path to legalize sports betting in the near future, but it’s hard to really get a gauge on how soon it will happen. If Massachusetts doesn’t legalize sports betting in the near future then the state is at risk of losing out on a ton of money to neighboring states who have already made it legal.
Even though there have been at least six different bills introduced in recent months, almost all of them have been exactly the same. State lawmakers can agree on the fact that they want both retail and mobile betting legalized at the same time, and that is a very smart move. Lawmakers are hoping to also allow companies that aren’t affiliated with a casino to be given the authorization to offer sports betting, which would help DraftKings that is located in Boston. There has been plenty of debate about what events or leagues would be included in the betting law, and that has been one of the issues holding up any law. Debate over the amount of tax or the cost of a licensing fee is also holding back any future law, which has been the case in other states. It appears that everyone in Massachusetts recognizes the importance of getting a deal done, but it’s taking them a long time to make it happen.
Where to Bet Sports
There are more than a handful of casinos already in operation in the state of Massachusetts, but it is unclear which of these locations will plan on adding a sportsbook. There are at least three casinos that have already made it clear that they are planning on offering sports betting if it becomes legalized, and they will likely be the leaders of sports betting in the state. Casinos have been the best place to get in on the sports betting action in other states, and the same is likely in Massachusetts. Lawmakers have also made it clear that they want to legalize mobile and online betting, which will allow betting fans from all over the state to make bets with ease.
Encore Boston Harbor: The Encore Boston Harbor Casino just recently opened their doors, but they will without a doubt be the sports betting capital in Massachusetts. Not only does their location in Boston gives them a huge advantage, but they have been preparing a sportsbook in anticipation of a law being passed. This is a $2.6 billion casino that has more than 210,000 square feet. This location also has a hotel that has over 600 rooms and will give Boston sports fans a place to stay before and after watching their favorite teams play.
MGM Springfield: MGM Springfield is nearing their one year anniversary, and this location has gotten great reviews since they opened. Springfield, Massachusetts is one of the biggest cities in the state, and they get a ton of traffic in their casino. This is another location that has already been planning the addition of a sportsbook for quite some time, and they should be ready to roll if it ever becomes legal. This is a 160,000 square foot location that will have plenty of room to have a nice sportsbook when it becomes available. There is also a hotel at this location as well, and sports betting fans will have plenty of other things to do while placing a bet on sports.
Plainridge Park Casino: The Plainridge Park Casino is located in Plainville, Massachusetts and has been open for nearly four years. This is one of the most popular casinos in the state, but it is a lot smaller than the first two casinos mentioned, and isn’t located in a big city. This location would be ideal for the rural sports betting fans to get to, and might save some people from the busy atmosphere at the bigger casinos. Plainridge Park Casino is over 100,000 square feet, and they do have plenty of room to open up a sportsbook if it becomes legal in the state of Massachusetts.
Mobile/Online Betting: The best and easiest place to make a sports bet in the state of Massachusetts might be online or through a mobile device. Sports betting fans in other states have found this to be the most efficient, and it is also the platform that has brought in the most revenue. Placing a bet through a mobile device is extremely easy, and can allow sports betting fans to make a bet from anywhere in the state. The casinos in the state of Massachusetts are in all of the big cities, but anyone living in a rural location can take advantage of this type of betting.
Encore Boston Harbor Preparing a Sportsbook: The Encore Boston Harbor Casino just recently opened its doors to gambling patrons, but they have been planning a sportsbook for quite some time. Even though sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Massachusetts, Encore Boston Harbor will be ready to go if and when it gets passed. This casino has been at the risk of losing their gambling license in recent months, but was able to get everything in order to open its doors. This location is owned and operated by Wynn Resorts which has other sportsbooks open in several states where sports betting has already been legalized.
Toto Casinos Support Sports Betting: Not all of the casinos in the state of Massachusetts have weighed in on the sports betting debate, but that isn’t the case in Toto. All three of the state-licensed casinos in Toto have expressed their support of legalizing sports betting, and all of them are hoping to open up a sports betting at their location. All of the casinos have sent representatives to speak in front of state lawmakers at the end of June in hopes of convincing opponents of sports betting to reconsider. These casinos have also expressed that they are hoping to have a single-digit tax rate if a new law is passed.
Lawmakers Don’t Want College Sports Involved: As talks heated up at the end of May regarding the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts, the topic of collegiate athletics was a hot topic of debate. Lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts have made it clear that they do not want to pass a law that allows for the opportunity to bet on collegiate sporting events. This type of law has been passed in other states, and Massachusetts will likely have the same rules if sports betting becomes passed. Some opponents are hoping to ban just collegiate events taking place in the state of Massachusetts, while others want to ban all of them.
Sports Teams That Drive Betting
There are plenty of states that are fortunate enough to have four professional sports franchises, but not many states have had the same success as Massachusetts. All four major teams are located in the Boston area, and that city has had plenty of championship parades in the past. Having enough sports teams to help drive sports betting is a major concern, but not in the state of Massachusetts. Some of the most storied and successful teams in American sports are located in this New England state, and sports plays a huge role in the culture. Sports betting will no doubt become extremely popular in the city of Boston and state of Massachusetts if it ever becomes legalized.
One of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics are no stranger to winning NBA titles, and they are extremely popular throughout the state. The NBA has been proactive in aligning with the sports betting industry, and the Celtics would play a huge role in driving sports betting in the state of Massachusetts.
The New England Patriots haven’t always been extremely popular in Massachusetts, but that hasn’t been the case in the 21st century. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have taken the Patriots franchise to new heights, and they are now the gold standard in the National Football League. The Patriots might be hated in other parts of the country, but folks in Massachusetts love their NFL team.
The Boston Red Sox are the state’s Major League Baseball team, and they too have been doing plenty of winning of late. The Red Sox are the reigning World Series champions, and they are solid again this season. Red Sox fans stood by their team through a historic championship drought, and are now reaping the benefits.
The state of Massachusetts almost got to celebrate another championship, but the Boston Bruins fell just short. The Bruins are a highly successful NHL franchise, and they are extremely popular in the state of Massachusetts. There will be no shortage of hockey fans wanting to place a bet on their beloved Bruins if it ever becomes legalized.
College sports are a popular thing to bet on in this country, and in Massachusetts likely means college hockey. Boston College and the University of Boston both have terrific college hockey teams, and they will likely generate plenty of betting action. The University of Massachusetts has had some periods of great success on the basketball court as well, and could help drive betting.
Sports fans in Massachusetts have had plenty to be excited about of late, but the idea of legalizing sports betting to make it even more exciting. All of the professional teams in the state of Massachusetts are extremely popular, and there will be plenty of action on all of them. Sports betting fans in Boston would love the chance to win right along with their favorite teams.
Casino Legal Status: There are at least 8 casinos in operation in the state, and they are able to offer both gaming machines and table games.
Sports Betting Legal Status: Sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Massachusetts, but it appears to be imminent. Both retail and online betting is expected to be legalized.
Horse Racing Legal Status: Horse racing became legal again in 2004 after a brief hiatus that lasted just 36 hours. Off-track betting facilities can offer betting on live events.
Poker Legal Status: Poker is legal at all of the state licensed casinos, but online poker is illegal in the state of Massachusetts.
DFS Legal Status: Daily fantasy sports is legal in the state of Massachusetts, and has been since 2016. DraftKings is headquartered out of Boston, MA and was one of the driving forces in legalizing DFS.
Lottery Legal Status: The Massachusetts Lottery has been in operation since 1971, and is a part of Mega Millions and Powerball. There is an online website, but lottery tickets must be bought at a retail location.
Sports Betting Timeline
- June 2019: Encore Boston Harbor Casino announces plans to launch sportsbook at their location.
- June 2019: Governor gives his support to legalizing sports betting in the state.
- January 2019: Up to six (6) bills introduced to legalize sports betting.
- November 2018: Bill introduced to legalize and regulate sports betting.
- November 2018: Supreme Court lifts federal ban on sports betting.
- February 2018: Roadmap to legalizing sports betting was introduced.
- January 2018: Senate Bill 2273 introduced to study sports betting in the state of Massachusetts.