Massachusetts Sports Betting: How to Bet in MA

It took a while for Massachusetts to legalize sports betting, but it finally happened. Read to find out how sports betting works in this state and what is coming next.

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While other states in the country were quick to join the sports betting industry after the federal ban was lifted, that wasn’t the case in Massachusetts. The first sports betting bills were introduced back in 2019 in the state of Massachusetts, but they were largely ignored.

That would be the case over the next few years until things really started to get serious in 2021. Sports betting in Massacficially launched in January 2023, but it’s still been a slow-moving process since that time.

There is potential for this to become a massive market, especially when you look at the online sports betting licenses that could be available. With a number of popular professional sports teams in the state, Massachusetts appears to have everything in place to put up some big numbers.

The United States sports betting industry now includes more than 30 states, and there will be more joining in 2024 as well. Sports betting has provided a huge boost in tax revenue in many states, and that’s going to be the case in Massachusetts as well.

Historical Background of Betting in Massachusetts

It looked as if Massachusetts was going to be included in the first group of states to legalize sports betting, but that simply wasn’t the case. Lawmakers couldn’t come to terms on a few key points, and that created a delay in the legalization and, eventually, the launch.

Things started to come together in terms of sports betting back in 2021, and then the state was able to get to the finish line in 2022. Massachusetts wanted to protect sports bettors with whatever bill they passed, and they also wanted to ensure that this was a competitive market.

Massachusetts Betting Legalization Details

After failing to get a deal done in 2021, it looked as if the same thing would happen in 2022 as well. Lawmakers were battling it out for months, but finally, an agreement was reached during the final moments of the legislative session.

It was bill H5164 that was passed in the final moments that allowed for sports betting to be legalized in Massachusetts. There were some parts of the original bill that were removed in order to get more support, but sports betting was finally legal in this state.

Retail sports betting went live in the state of Massachusetts on January 31st, and online sports betting followed on March 10th.

Where to Bet in Massachusetts

When it comes to retail wagering in the state of Massachusetts, the options are pretty limited for bettors. The land-based casinos and race tracks in Massachusetts are eligible to offer retail sports betting, but there just aren’t that many options in the state.

In-person sports betting in Massachusetts is currently available at the following locations:

  • Encore Boston Harbor (WynnBET Sportsbook)
  • MGM Springfield (BetMGM Sportsbook)
  • Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sportsbook)

While the in-person betting options are a bit limited, that won’t be the case soon when it comes to online wagering. It has been a relatively slow process to launch some online sportsbooks, but this state is still home to some great options.

Here is a list of the current online sportsbooks in the state of Massachusetts:

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • WynnBET Sportsbook
  • Fanatics Sportsbook

Key Regulations and Rules

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission really focused on advertising bans and responsible gambling when coming up with the rules and regulations, but the other rules are going to be similar to what you would see in other markets.

The legal sports betting age in Massachusetts is 21 years of age, and that’s what you will find in other states as well. Betting is not limited to residents of the state, but you do have to be within state lines in order to make bets.

Massachusetts sportsbooks do have plenty of freedom when it comes to the number of sports betting markets they can offer, and most take full advantage. You will also see a wide range of betting types offered by the sportsbooks in the state, including all of the most popular options.

There are a few restrictions in place, though, especially when it comes to betting on collegiate sporting events. It is illegal to place a bet on an in-state college team unless that team is playing in a tournament with at least four teams.

It’s also important to know that horse racing is not covered under the sports betting rules and regulations, as that is a completely different industry.

Popular Sports and Events to Bet On in Massachusetts

One of the reasons that most industry experts believe that Massachusetts will put up some great numbers is because the state has many professional sports teams that will drive the industry. Not only are there a number of professional sports teams in Massachusetts, but there are some historic and popular teams.

The New England Patriots are one of the most successful NFL franchises in league history, especially in the 21st century. New England was an unstoppable force under Bill Belichick and behind Tom Brady, and that team is going to continue to drive sports betting.

The Boston Celtics are the NBA team in the state of Massachusetts, and they have won the most NBA titles in league history. Boston has been the home of many legendary NBA players, and betting on basketball is extremely popular with bettors.

Betting on baseball still isn’t as popular as some of the other top sports, but that’s not necessarily the case in Massachusetts. The Boston Red Sox are another team with plenty of titles this century, and they have the pieces in place to succeed moving forward.

The Boston Bruins are the Massachusetts representative in the NHL, and they have a huge following throughout the entire state. Betting on hockey should be more popular at sportsbooks, especially when it comes to this team.

Betting on in-state college teams in Massachusetts is not allowed, unless those teams are competing in a tournament. That does limit the betting options a bit, but there are enough professional teams to carry the industry.

Tips for First-time Bettors in Massachusetts

Getting started in the sports betting industry can seem like a pretty intimidating thing for some, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Even though There are going to be many things that you need to know before you start winning some money, bettors have been willing to share tips to help you win money right away.

One of the first things that you have to do in order to have some success in this industry is to come up with a bankroll management plan that works for you. This plan should include many things, but the most important is how much money you are willing to use when betting on sports.

You should also study up on the different betting types that are out there in order to give yourself several chances to win some money. You might find that you prefer to use one betting type over others at some point, but you don’t want to limit yourself right away.

Make sure that you have some patience when betting on sports, and recognize that there are going to be some rough days as well. You aren’t going to become rich right away when betting on sports, but you have to be willing to give it a try the next day.

The Future of Sports Betting in Massachusetts

Since the official launch of sports betting on March 10th, 2023, there has been just one new online sportsbook that has joined the market. That’s extremely surprising based on how big this market can be, but there is still plenty of room to grow in the future.

Betr and Bally Bet have already received a license to launch in the future, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hand out more licenses soon. There are some strict rules in place that will delay the launch for some, but this market is going to grow.

Unfortunately, there just won’t be a ton of growth when it comes to retail sports betting, and that will always limit the overall numbers a bit. Massachusetts still hasn’t had online sports betting up and running during an NFL season, and that is when the numbers should really jump.

Massachusetts has gotten off to a solid start in the sports betting industry, but sportsbooks will see some huge betting handle numbers once the NFL season is underway.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, it’s hard to really judge this market up to this point, as Massachusetts has not yet had sports betting during an NFL season. Other states have been able to cash in because of football, and that time is coming for Massachusetts.

With a number of great sports betting options online in Massachusetts, it should be easy to find some great options when it comes to placing bets. You should always make sure that you are having fun when betting on sports in Massachusetts, as that is what this industry is intended for.

Massachusetts has strict laws in place when it comes to responsible gambling, and every sportsbook must provide resources to combat problem gambling. If you are having problems when betting on sports, be sure to reach out to a group or organization in order to get some help.

Paid in bonus bets if your bet wins.

21+ and present in select states. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable bonus bets that expire 7 days after receipt. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. FanDuel is offering online sports wagering in Kansas under an agreement with Kansas Star Casino, LLC. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit FanDuel.com/RG (CO, IA, KY, MI, NJ, OH, PA, IL, TN, VA, VT), 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXTSTEP to 53342 (AZ), 1-888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 or visit ksgamblinghelp.com (KS), 1-877-770-STOP (LA), visit www.mdgamblinghelp.org (MD), 1-800-522-4700 (WY), or visit www.1800gambler.net (WV).

Betting Ladies members get a bonus! Available in all states but NY, DC, MS, PR and NV.

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Must be 21+ and present in CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, OH, NJ, NY, or VA. Void where prohibited. T&C Apply. If you or someone you know in CO, IL, LA, OH, or NJ has a gambling problem, Call or TEXT 1-800-GAMBLER. In IA, call 1-800-BETS-OFF. IN call 1-800-9-WITH-IT. In MI, call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Gambling Disorder Help-line at: 800-270-7117. In NY, Call (877-8-HOPENY) or text HOPENY (467369). In VA, call 1-888-532-3500.

Receive $150 as bonus bets. Deposit required. Paid in bonus bets. New customers only. Other Ts&Cs apply.

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