Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts or should you avoid doing this?
That’s the big question for fans living in Massachusetts who love watching their favorite teams like the Boston Celtics, the Red Sox, and the Bruins.
What if you enjoy watching these teams but also want to bet on the games?
Well, we’ll be taking a look at the latest legislation and showing you exactly what you can and can’t do in the Bay State. Find out where you can place wagers legally and everything else that you need to know about before getting started.
Remember you can find more betting guides for Massachusetts sports wagering here.
Yes, the good news is that sports betting is now legal in this state. The subject of legal sports betting Massachusetts residents can enjoy has been in the news a lot recently since it became one of the latest American states to legalize this activity.
This means that from early 2023 sports betting has been fully legal here, with retail betting initially going live and then being joined by mobile betting.
It was made possible by the passing of a bill in 2022 allowing Massachusetts legal sports betting to take place. The new laws confirm that only the sportsbooks authorized and regulated by the state’s authorities can be used.
They also confirm that bettors need to be aged 21 or older and physically located in the state.
As you’d expect, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and all of the other pro leagues are available for betting in Massachusetts. So, you can bet on all major sports teams in MA.
However, in-state college sports teams are excluded except when taking part in a tournament, while wagers can’t be placed on high school sports under any circumstances.
With a limited number of sportsbooks authorized to accept bets in Massachusetts, you need to be aware of the sites and apps where you can legally wager.
The following are some of the names you might like to look out for.
Caesars is one of the leading names in the gambling business, so it’s no surprise to see Caesars having a sportsbook here.
Their site is packed with ways of betting and they have a variety of promos for their players. At the time of writing, you can get started with a risk-free bet and then collect Caesars' Rewards every time you place a wager. Check out PickBoss special Caesar's offer below.
Must be 21 or older. Offer valid and must be physically present in AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY. New users only. See Caesars.com/promos for full terms. Know When To Stop Before You Start.
DraftKings is another huge name in sports betting that is now live in Massachusetts. You can start by registering online or through their mobile app, and then start betting.
This company is based in Boston and initially focused on fantasy sports but now has a solid presence in the sports betting market in many states.
Click below for a special DraftKings offer from PickBoss.
FanDuel has entered the Massachusetts market with a welcome offer that gives new players a series of free bets in their early days after signing up.
As with the other brands we’ve looked at, they’ve got a professional approach and cover all of the games you’d hope to see.
Check out our complete list of MA special offers & promos here.
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts for college teams or is it just for the pro leagues? One of the interesting approaches to the legislation here is that in-state NCAA college teams like the Boston College Eagles and the Boston University Terriers are excluded from the list of things we can legally wager on.
However, the exclusion only applies to regular season games and betting is allowed when a Massachusetts college team takes part in a tournament with four or more teams in it. So, for example, you could bet in the NCAA tournament (or March Madness) if a team from MA participates on it.
You can also bet on college teams from other states if you like. So, while you’re largely restricted from what college games you can bet on, it isn’t completely out of the question if that’s what you most enjoy watching and predicting the outcome of it.
The history of sports betting in Massachusetts started with horse and dog racing, which were both made legal in 1934. Is betting legal in Massachusetts for these activities in 2023?
Yes, parimutuel horse race wagering can still be carried out at Plainridge Racecourse, while Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park offer simulcast betting on horse races and dog races.
As several other states moved towards legalized sports betting, the idea of the same thing happening in the Bay State began to emerge. People began to ask, when will sports betting be legal in Massachusetts? The initial bills proposed in 2019 didn’t get very far but The House got further when trying to introduce it at the end of the 2020 session.
It still didn’t go through following resistance from the Senate, but the idea was now very much out in the open.
2021 saw more efforts to pass a bill of this type, with a couple of dozen different versions of a sports betting bill being discussed at one point.
The House overwhelmingly backed the idea again, but the proposal was pushed back when higher-priority issues emerged.
The law was finally pushed through in 2022 when lawmakers made the necessary compromises right at the end of the final session of the year.
This saw both land-based and online sports betting made legal and the law was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on August 10. It was then confirmed that retail sports betting would be launched on January 31, 2023, with online sportsbooks going live on March 10.
All of this means that it’s now possible to place sports wagers online or at authorized land locations, on future or live events.
It’s been a long journey to this point but we finally have the chance to bet on our favorite teams legally and in a highly convenient way.
Now that we’ve answered the question ‘is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?’, the next point to cover is who controls the sportsbooks and makes sure that everyone sticks to the laws.
This is the task of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), which is also in charge of regulating the casino industry in the state.
They hand out the licenses to companies that meet their requirements and pay the required fee. It’s expected that the MGC authorizes up to 15 sportsbooks in total.
While most sports fans are unlikely to ever have any dealing with them, the MGC is there to ensure that the consumer is protected at all times and can carry out their betting safely and fairly.
They can also step in to resolve disputes between people and the betting companies that they use.
This is a process that begins with the bettor completing their Patron Dispute Form – Sports Wagering Divisions with details of the reason why they’re unhappy with the sportsbook.
So far they have already banned betting in the Boston Marathon, which will happen on Monday, April 17.
The #Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Thursday to block wagering on the upcoming #BostonMarathon after reviewing a message from the B.A.A. https://t.co/ZZ10nxvt4l pic.twitter.com/yrxB2LMfTN— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) April 6, 2023
The #Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Thursday to block wagering on the upcoming #BostonMarathon after reviewing a message from the B.A.A. https://t.co/ZZ10nxvt4l pic.twitter.com/yrxB2LMfTN
Yes, this activity has been completely legal in the state since early 2023 and there are now several licensed, regulated online sportsbooks operating here that you can use without any worries.
Only people who are physically present in the state of Massachusetts and aged 21 or over can bet online here. This is why sportsbooks have a short verification process that you need to complete when registering.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is the governing body that issues licenses to sportsbooks and regulates the industry. The MGC also carries out dispute resolution between players and betting companies when needed.
Find video picks for Massachusetts sports teams updated daily here.
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