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Massachusetts Sports Betting Guide

Sports betting is legal in Massachusetts after Governor Charlie Baker signed HB 5164. However, retail and online sportsbooks are yet to launch in MA.

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Massachusetts sports betting is legal but retail and online sportsbooks are yet to launch. In the meantime, sports fans in MA can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Massachusetts Sports Betting Summary

Sports betting was legalized in Massachusetts when Governor Charlie Baker signed HB 5164 on August 10, 2022. A regulatory process will now take place whereby the Massachusetts Gaming Commission solidifies regulations for the newly-legal state industry and processes licensing applications. That means Massachusetts sports fans may have to wait until 2023 to place their first bets in The Bay State.

The legalization of sports betting in MA had taken a big step towards being confirmed on August 1, 2022, when the state’s House Speaker Ronald Mariano announced a last-minute sports betting deal had been passed. The announcement came at around 5.15am, more than five hours after the legislative rules called for formal sessions to end for the year. HB 5164 passed the Senate by a vote of 36-4. Despite Gov. Baker’s public support for sports betting, there were almost 30 failed attempts prior to HB 5164 passing.

HB 5164 includes provisions for seven online sportsbook licenses, which will be awarded to top US betting operators. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will confirm the state’s sportsbook regulations following the signing of HB 5164. The state’s three racetracks and three land-based casinos will be able to apply for retail sportsbook licenses. Online sportsbooks will be taxed at 20% of revenue and retail sportsbooks at 15%.

Read our detailed guide to learn the latest on Massachusetts sports betting, including the current sports betting legislation, advice on how to wager legally, and a breakdown of the state’s sports teams.

Massachusetts Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is legal in Massachusetts following the signing of HB 5164 into law by Gov. Baker. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will now start creating the application process for sportsbooks. There is no set launch date for sports betting in MA, but lawmakers had previously hoped it would go live in time for the 2022 NFL season. As the NFL is the biggest betting sport in the US, most legal states collect the biggest handles during months with NFL games. However, it is now likely betting sites will launch in January 2023, the same time as they are expected to in Ohio.

Up to seven Massachusetts online sports betting licenses can be awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. There will be strong competition for these licenses, with DraftKings, WynnBET, Barstool Sportsbook, and BetMGM already having existing ties to the state. BetMGM’s operating company, MGM Resorts, owns the MGM Springfield Casino which will be eligible for a retail sportsbook license. Similarly, Wynn Resorts owns the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and will be able to launch WynnBET, and Penn National Gaming owns Plainridge Park Casino and might launch Barstool Sportsbook. DraftKings’ headquarters are in Boston, and the brand already operates its Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in the state.

Four of the five states surrounding Massachusetts have legal online sports betting. New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire all offer sports betting apps that are available state-wide. NY offers the widest variety, with the likes of BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel among the legal options for anyone wagering there. DraftKings and Sportsbook Rhode Island have exclusivity over online betting in New Hampshire and Rhode Island respectively, while Connecticut bettors can wager with FanDuel and Sugarhouse Sportsbook. Vermont is MA’s only neighboring state without legal sports betting.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are available in Massachusetts. In fact, MA was the birthplace of DFS giant DraftKings. You can also use other DFS brands like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, and FanDuel. Online horse racing betting is available with operators like TVG and TwinSpires.

How to Place a Bet in Massachusetts

Online sports betting is coming to Massachusetts, and you’ll want to be ready for when it arrives. Follow our step-by-step guide to registering with Massachusetts sportsbooks below to get signed up and wagering as soon as betting launches:

  1. Choose one of the online sportsbooks that will launch in Massachusetts.

  2. Many sportsbooks have mobile apps you can download by visiting the operator’s mobile browser site. Alternatively, you can go to your Apple or Android app store when these MA betting apps are released.

  3. Enter your full name, address, phone number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number to register an account. You may also need to create a password and answer security questions.

  4. Visit the sportsbook’s cashier section and choose a payment method for depositing your money. You can add as much as you want, but ensure you are depositing enough to meet the minimum deposit requirements of the sportsbook’s welcome offer.

  5. Look through your sportsbook’s markets and choose a betting line. Add it to your bet slip, where you can select your stake and place the wager.

  6. If your bet wins, return to the sportsbook’s cashier section and follow its instructions to make a withdrawal.

  7. You must verify your identity before withdrawing to avoid fraud and underage gambling. Send copies of documents like your photo ID and proof of address to the sportsbook.

Banking Methods Available in Massachusetts

The banking methods that will be available in Massachusetts have not yet been confirmed. However, we can make an informed prediction by looking at the options offered by sportsbooks that operate in other legal betting states.

Bank cards like Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at US sportsbooks but may only be available for deposits. However, some cards cannot be used, as a few US banks still reject transfers to and from online betting sites. E-wallets are popular with sports bettors in other states, with Paypal and Skrill being likely options for Massachusetts bettors.

Play+ also has partnerships with sportsbooks expected to launch in Massachusetts like BetMGM and DraftKings, so it’s expected to be available. PayNearMe is another likely option, and there are thousands of retailers across Massachusetts like CVS and 7-Eleven where players can top up these cards. Banking methods like online bank transfers, wire transfers, and Automated House Clearing (ACH) will also probably be available on MA sportsbooks.

Who is Eligible to Bet in MA?

Massachusetts betting will be available to anyone who is at least 21 years old. Online betting will be available if you are physically located within the state. However, individuals who meet any of the criteria below are prohibited from sports betting:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports and college teams.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NFL, NCAA).

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Individuals with non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, including key staff, owners, directors, and officers.

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest Massachusetts Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Massachusetts

Sports betting is legal in Massachusetts. Gov. Baker signed HB 5164 to legalize online and retail sports betting in the state on August 10, 2022 – one day before the deadline. MA will issue seven online sportsbook licenses, and racetracks and casinos will be able to apply for retail sportsbook licenses.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Massachusetts

  • August 10, 2022: Gov. Baker signs HB 5164 to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts.

  • August 1, 2022: Amendments are made to HB 3993 to change it to HB 5164, including a reduced sportsbook tax of 15% for retail sportsbooks and 20% for online betting sites. There is also a compromise on college sports, with MA bettors allowed to wager on the NCAA teams in the postseason. The bill passes the House by 151-2 and the Senate 36-4. HB 5164 awaits Gov. Baker’s approval.

  • July 28, 2022: Gov. Baker publicly states that he wants to sign a sports betting bill before the end of the legislative session on July 31, 2022. Casinos in Massachusetts publish a joint letter urging lawmakers to legalize sports betting.

  • May 17, 2022: The House rejects the amendments made by the Senate to HB 3993.

  • April 28, 2022: The Senate makes various changes to HB 3993 by adding clauses from SB 269, SB 2844, and the newly introduced SB 2862. Clauses include a ban on collegiate sports betting, a higher tax rate, and a ban on sports betting ads during professional sports broadcasts. HB 3993 passes the Senate and returns to the House.

  • April 25, 2022: SB 2844, a bill to legalize sports betting, is introduced to the Senate.

  • July 22, 2021: HB 3977 is amended into HB 3993, which passes the House by 156-3. The bill passes to the Senate for approval.

  • July 21, 2021: HB 3977, an act to legalize sports betting, is introduced to the House. The bill incorporates HB 70, HB 3832, and HB 3974, as well as all the sports betting house bills introduced on March 29, 2021. SB 269 incorporates all the sports betting senate bills introduced on the same date.

  • July 19, 2021: The Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies introduces HB 3974 to the House to legalize sports betting.

  • June 1, 2021: Representative Lindsay N. Sabadosa introduces HB 3832, a bill to legalize sports wagering, to the House.

  • March 29, 2021: Lawmakers introduce HB 502, HB 506, HB 514, HB515, HB 516, HB 517, HB 519, HB 531, and HB 535 to the House. All these bills look to legalize sports betting. Lawmakers also introduce SB 254, SB 257, SB 263, SB 264, SB 269, SB 278, and SB 281 to the Senate.

  • February 25, 2021: Rep. Charles D. Baker introduces HB 70 to the House to expand sports betting in MA.

  • January 1, 2021: No further action is taken with HB 4559.

  • March 12, 2020: All of the sports betting bills from 2019 are adopted into HB 4559, an act to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts.

  • January 22, 2019: Lawmakers introduce HB 68, HB 366, HB 372, HB 373, HB 377, HB 378, and HB 379 to the House to legalize sports betting. Senators present SB 201, SB 224, SB 229, and SB 231 to the Senate to legalize sports betting.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), leaving individual states free to legalize sports betting.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Background

Ever since the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, Massachusetts has been trying to legalize sports betting. Lawmakers submitted multiple bills in 2019, but none received major support. 2021 saw 23 different sports betting bills on file in the House and Senate, with HB 3988 gaining the most traction. However, efforts to pass this in the Senate were derailed by a budget surplus, with Senate President Karen Spilka announcing five issues of higher priority.

HB 5164 almost didn’t pass due to lawmakers’ different opinions on college sports betting. In the final bill, in-state college sports betting is banned unless a team reaches the postseason. Prop bets for college sports are also banned.

Future of Massachusetts Sports Betting

There are seven online sportsbook licenses available, as well as six locations that can apply for a retail sportsbook license. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission needs to create the framework and infrastructure for the sports betting industry to launch, including the licensing requirements and responsible gambling measures. DraftKings is expected to launch in the state, with CEO Jason Robins calling MA a “huge opportunity” for the brand. There was similar excitement from WynnBET with Encore Boston Harbor Casino President Jenny Holaday saying the company plans to bring the WynnBET app to the state. MGM Resorts International’s Northeast Group President Chris Kelley noted the brand would be “thrilled” to launch a sports lounge in MA soon.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Locations

There are three brick-and-mortar casinos in Massachusetts. Two of the casinos offer a full range of slots and table games, whilst the third is a slots-only racino. Under the terms of HB 5164, all three casinos will be able to apply for a sportsbook license. As such, we expect to see sportsbooks opening at Encore Boston Harbor Casino, MGM Springfield Casino, and Plainridge Park Casino.

While you wait for retail sportsbooks to launch at MA casinos, you can visit neighboring Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island to place wagers in person. You’ll find top sportsbook operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and SugarHouse Sportsbook in these states.

Massachusetts Lottery Locations

The Massachusetts Lottery has been running since 1971, and you can purchase tickets from lottery locations across the state. You can’t buy lottery tickets online. HB 5164 doesn’t include any mention of sports betting at lottery locations. As such, there will be no sports betting kiosks available at lottery locations in Massachusetts.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

Due to the terms of HB 5164, there will be no retail sportsbooks at sports venues, despite sportsbooks’ partnerships with major league teams in Massachusetts. However, this idea was discussed by lawmakers and may be revisited in future legislation.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Division of Racing oversees horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the state. You can place pari-mutuel bets on horse races at three horse racetracks, but there are no off-tracking betting (OTB) locations. Racetracks will be able to apply for retail sportsbook licenses in the future.

Name Address Phone Number
Plainridge Park Casino 301 Washington Street, Plainville, MA 02762 (508) 576-4500
Raynham Park 1958 Broadway, Raynham, MA 02767 (508) 824-4071
Suffolk Downs 525 William F McClellan Highway, Boston, MA 02128 (617) 567-3900

Massachusetts Responsible Gambling Resources

There is currently a state-wide voluntary self-exclusion program you can use to ban yourself from all the state’s casinos for a specific time. This will also prevent you from receiving promotional gambling material. It’s expected the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will enforce this for retail sportsbooks as well. In addition, online sportsbooks will offer responsible gaming measures such as bankroll limits and time-outs.

Teams to Bet on in Massachusetts

  • Pro Sports

New England Patriots: The Patriots are the most successful NFL team in the Super Bowl Era, winning six Lombardi Trophies. After joining the NFL in 1970, the Patriots didn’t win silverware for their first 30 years in the NFL. However, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady would lead the Patriots to unparalleled success from 2001-2019, with nine Conference Titles and six Super Bowl appearances. Their home games are played at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, which can house up to 66,000 spectators.

Boston Celtics: The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history and, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, hold the record for most NBA Championships (17). Their rivalry with the Lakers from the 1960s to the 1980s was legendary, highlighted by the one-to-one matchup between Celtics all-time great Larry Bird and the Lakers’ Magic Johnson. Recent years have seen success for the Celtics, with a Conference Title in 2022 and appearance in the NBA Finals for the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown-led team.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships, including four in the 21st Century. The Red Sox play their home games at Fenway Park, with a capacity of 37,500. Fenway Park is instantly recognizable for its ‘Green Monster’ wall at left field.

Boston Bruins: The Bruins are the oldest US-based NHL team and have a successful history to match. Playing in the Eastern Atlantic Division, they have won the Stanley Cup six times and claimed 26 Division Championships, most recently in 2020.

  • College Sports

Boston College Eagles: The Eagles represent Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The school sponsors 25 varsity teams, and the Eagles have won six NCAA National Championships, five in men’s hockey, and one in women’s lacrosse. The Eagles are supported by their mascot, Baldwin the Eagle, and fans cheer on their team by singing ‘For Boston’, the oldest college fight song in the US.

Boston University Terriers: Boston University is represented by the Terriers in the Patriot League. The Terriers are most famous for their hockey teams, winning five men’s National Championships, most recently in 2009. The school’s colors are scarlet and white, and hockey games are played at the 7,200-capacity Agganis Arena.

Harvard Crimson: Harvard University has the most varsity teams of any NCAA Division I school in the US, with 41 teams. The Harvard Crimson boasts 151 National Titles, but many of these came at the end of the 19th or start of the 20th Century. They have recently won four National Championships, including men’s hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, and fencing.

Holy Cross Crusaders: Competing in the Patriot League, the College of the Holy Cross is represented by the Crusaders. Playing in royal purple, the Crusaders had a purple patch in the post-World War II era, winning National Championships in basketball (1947) and baseball (1952). The Crusaders remain the only team from the US Northeast to have won a College World Series.

UMass Minutemen: The Minutemen are the pride of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Playing in maroon and white, the Minutemen have over 100 years of basketball history, the highlight being the 1996 men’s team reaching the Final Four of the NCAA Division I Tournament.

Merrimack Warriors: Merrimack College is transitioning from Division II to Division I, with complete Division I membership coming in 2024. The Warriors have had national success at the Division II level, with National Championships in hockey, softball, and men’s lacrosse. The Warriors have also won regional titles in women’s basketball and women’s soccer.

Northeastern Huskies: Northeastern University’s Huskies came close to winning their first ever National Championship in 2021 when the women’s hockey team lost in the championship game. Hockey games are played in the Matthews Arena, the oldest indoor hockey arena in the world, having opened in 1910.

Stonehill Skyhawks: Competing in the Northeast Conference, the Stonehill College Skyhawks have 23 teams. Before 2022, the Skyhawks competed at the Division II level. However, the team will play in Division I from the 2022/23 season onwards.

UMass Lowell River Hawks: The University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks have 16 varsity teams that compete in the America East Conference. Their mascot is Rowdy the River Hawk, and the River Hawks won seven National Championships at the Division II level before becoming a Division I school in 2013-14.

  • Women’s Sports

Boston Pride: Massachusetts is home to the Boston Pride, a women’s hockey team playing in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF). Home games are played in the Warrior Arena. The Pride became the first PHF team to win the Isobel Cup (the playoff championship) three times, winning in 2016 and going back-to-back in 2021 and 2022.

How Does Massachusetts Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

Considering the sportsbooks expected to launch in Massachusetts, bettors can anticipate a full range of markets for professional sports. Top operators like DraftKings and BetMGM provide various bets on the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. You’ll also find betting lines on lots of niche markets like European soccer, MMA, and NASCAR.

Massachusetts will ban in-state college sports betting and player props wagers, which mirrors Virginia restrictions. However, MA bettors will be able to wager on in-state college teams playing in the postseason.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

As some of the leading sportsbooks in the US are expected to launch in Massachusetts, bettors in the state can expect competitive betting odds and prices. While many sportsbooks provide improved odds on local teams and competitions, the wide array of MA major league teams is bound to bring about lucrative promotions.

In addition, top brands like BetMGM and DraftKings that are expected to launch in the state already have local ties which will result in favorable odds and prices. A BetMGM sports lounge is likely to open at MGM Springfield Casino. DraftKings, meanwhile, is the official betting partner of the Boston Bruins and offers generous odds on every NHL game. The brand is also the DFS partner for the Boston Red Sox and provides MLB promotions and generous betting lines throughout the season.

  • Gambling Revenue

Massachusetts sportsbooks will pay 20% tax on online sports betting revenue and 15% tax on retail sports betting revenue. One other state in the US has a 20% tax on online sportsbooks, Tennessee. Both jurisdictions are home to around seven million people and support major league franchises. As of June 2022, Tennessee has handled $4,882,485,912 in wagers, and sportsbooks have taken $420,974,224 in revenue. The Volunteer State has taken $70,113,474 in taxes. Massachusetts’ sports betting market can expected to generate a similar figure, if not more, considering MA will also legalize retail sports betting.

  • Betting Taxes

Sports bettors in Massachusetts will have to pay tax on sports betting winnings and declare all winnings to the IRS. If you win over $600, you must complete a W-2G form. Sportsbooks can withhold up to 25% of winnings as tax. You must also include your betting winnings in your state income tax return. Massachusetts has a 6.25% flat rate state income tax.

Sportsbooks must also pay a 0.25% excise tax on each month’s betting handle following the Internal Revenue Code. Additionally, operators need to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking wagers.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulates sports betting in the Bay State. The commission’s mission statement is to create a fair and transparent process for implementing the expanded gaming law. Currently, the commission is establishing the framework and legislation for retail and online sports betting in the state. It is also creating the licensing process so sportsbooks can apply to launch in Massachusetts.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts sports betting became legal after Governor Charlie Baker signed HB 5164 on August 10, 2022. Retail and online sports betting are now able to launch, although sportsbooks are not expected to be operational until 2023.

Who governs sports betting in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission oversees sports betting in MA. The commission will create the licensing process for all sportsbooks and testing measures to ensure each operator is safe.

How old do you have to be to bet in Massachusetts?

You must be at least 21 years old to bet in Massachusetts. You must be physically located within the state’s borders to bet online.

When did sports betting launch in Massachusetts?

Sports betting hasn’t launched in Massachusetts. Lawmakers hoped sportsbooks would go live in time for the 2022 NFL season. However, the launch date may be delayed until January 2023.

Where can I bet on sports in Massachusetts?

When sports betting launches in Massachusetts, you will be able to bet with up to seven online sportsbooks. Sportsbooks may open at MGM Springfield Casino, Encore Boston Harbor Casino, and Plainridge Park Casino.

Are sportsbooks in Massachusetts safe?

All sportsbooks that launch in Massachusetts will be licensed and regulated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The commission is devising a process to test every betting site operator for security and fairness.

Do I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Massachusetts?

Yes, taxes will be payable on sports betting winnings in Massachusetts. You must declare all your gambling winnings to the IRS and complete a W-2G form for winnings greater than $600. Betting winnings are also included in state income tax, which is 6.25%.

Can you play DraftKings in Massachusetts?

Not yet, but DraftKings are expected to apply for a license in Massachusetts when sports betting launches. DraftKings was founded in MA, and its headquarters are in Boston. Until DraftKings sportsbook is available, you can legally play their Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games.

Can you play FanDuel in Massachusetts?

FanDuel is not currently available in Massachusetts, but you can play its Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. The sportsbook is live in neighboring Connecticut and New York.

Can you play BetMGM in Massachusetts?

No, BetMGM Sportsbook is not available in Massachusetts. However, the operator is expected to be one of the first to launch through its links with MGM Springfield Casino. BetMGM is, however, available in neighboring New York.

Can you play Caesars in Massachusetts?

Caesars sportsbook is not live in Massachusetts because sports betting hasn’t launched yet. You can visit New York if you want to use the Caesars app for betting.

Can you play TwinSpires in Massachusetts?

No, you cannot play TwinSpires in Massachusetts. Sports betting isn’t yet available in MA, and TwinSpires is in the process of shutting down its sportsbook anyway.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Massachusetts in the future?

Most of the top US operators are expected to launch in Massachusetts, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, WynnBET, Barstool Sportsbook, and Caesars. No sportsbooks have made any official announcements, but DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has called the legalization of sports betting in MA “a huge opportunity”.