Thanks to recent legislation passed by Governor Charlie Baker in August of 2022, sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts for both in-person and online play. In-person and online gambling are expected to launch in early-mid 2023 with goals ranging from January-March.
In a new development, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission met with multiple sports betting providers to discuss the use of temporary vs. permanent licenses. No decision has yet been made.
MA Sports Betting: Legality as it stands
|Online Sports Betting||Legal, Not yet live|
|Mobile Sports Betting||Legal, Not yet live|
|Retail Sports Betting||Legal, Not yet live|
|Minimum Age||21+ (TBC)|
More on MA Sports Betting:
- Neighbouring states with legal online sports betting
- Latest Massachusetts sports betting news
- The history of sports betting in Massachusetts
- Most likely sports betting sites in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts sports teams to bet on
- Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQ
Neighbouring states with legal online sports betting
Massachusetts sports betting is currently legal but is not active yet. It is expected to go live in early-mid 2023. There are four neighbouring states that have legal and operating online sports betting for anyone inside state lines.
- Find out more on Connecticut sports betting
- Find out more on New York sports betting
- Find out more on New Hampshire sports betting
- Find out more on Rhode Island sports betting
Latest Massachusetts Sports Betting News
The Massachusetts legislative session ended on July 31, and after working through key sticking points between the House and the Senate, the legislation was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August of 2022. This was a significant win for the MA legislators as the state had hoped a bill to legalize sports betting would be passed by the deadline.
The main sticking point between the House and the Senate was centered around the rules and regulations of betting on collegiate sports. They ended up settling on a compromise, allowing folks in MA to bet on collegiate sports so long as the colleges involved are not located in Massachusetts.
This is a great deal for the state of Massachusetts, as there had been building pressure from professional sports teams and sportsbooks alike to legalize betting in the state. For instance, the Boston Red Sox were eager to find an online sportsbook partner to open a retail sports betting location close to their historic Fenway Park home.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently met with multiple sports betting providers to discuss temporary vs. permanent licenses. No decision has yet been made.
The history of sports betting in Massachusetts
The decision to allow individual states to decide their own sports betting laws came in May 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) as unconstitutional. This gave most states the option of legalizing sports betting for the first time.
Massachusetts had hoped to become one of the early adopters of legal online sports betting and held exploratory hearings as far back as December 2017. However, it took longer than originally hoped to get a bill signed into law.
One key detail of the legislation that was passed is that gambling on Massachusetts colleges will not be legal. It will be legal, however, to bet on college sports competitions between colleges that are not in Massachusetts.
College sports betting was one of the main areas holding the legislation back from passing, as the House and the Senate disagreed on college betting rules and regulations. After a compromise was reached, the bill was signed into law.
Previous hurdles for Massachusetts sports betting
The Massachusetts legislature had been close to legalizing sports betting in the Bay State for a long while, however there were still some important compromises to be found before a bill could be passed.
The big disagreement was over whether to allow betting on college sports, while there were also some final negotiations being made on tax rates.
Wynn CEO Craig Billings had urged both sides to come to an agreement so that the company could launch WynnBet in Massachusetts.
The company already owned and operated the Encore Boston Harbor casino, and were eager to be able to add an online sportsbook to their services in the Bay State.
There was also a growing realization in the state about how much tax revenue Massachusetts was losing to neighbors where online sports betting was already legal.
Previously, DraftKings announced that 35% of all bets placed in New Hampshire on the Boston Celtics’ NBA Championship run were made by Massachusetts residents.
Most likely sports betting sites in Massachusetts
Per NBC Boston, there have been new developments in which sportsbooks have submitted applications for in-person and online licenses in Massachusetts.
Three companies applied for in-person licenses: MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino, and Encore Boston Harbor. There are five companies that applied for licenses connected to those entities. Those five are WynnBet, Caesars, BetMGM, Penn Sports Interactive, Fanatics Sportsbook.
There are also six companies that submitted applications for mobile-only licenses. Those companies are Bally Bet, DraftKings, Betr, FanDuel, Betway, and PointsBet.
Here’s a deeper look at five potential sportsbooks for MA residents when it goes live in early-to-mid 2023.
- Caesars – Great refer-a-friend program
- BetMGM – Market leading platform
- FanDuel – Great value odds
- WynnBet – Strong local presence
- DraftKings – Fantastic statistical analysis and breakdowns
Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts
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Caesars is one of the most reputable names in the entire gambling industry. With a strong presence in New York, there is little doubt that they’d be keenly interested in moving east and into Massachusetts when online sports betting begins in the Bay State.
Players on Caesars enjoy one of the best and easiest-to-use sites available, with a huge range of domestic and global sports laid out in a way which is quick to navigate. There is also a simple Same Game Parlay button to show which bets can be combined into one high-value bet.
The best promotion on Caesars, aside from their hugely generous risk-free first bet, is their refer a friend bonus. Players can refer up to ten friends, and receive a $100 free bet when each friend opens an account and places a $50+ initial deposit.
- Find out more about the Caesars Sportsbook Promo Code
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|Refer A Friend Bonus||✔|
BetMGM is one of the leading online sportsbooks in the nation, and already offer their online sportsbooks in sixteen states. The company already has a presence in Massachusets thanks to their MGM Springfield complex, and will no doubt want to expand with online sports betting statewide.
The BetMGM online sports book is one of the absolute best on the market, with a deep choice of lines across the huge catalogue of sports on offer. There is also an easy to use One Game Parlay tool available to registered users that makes it simple to place multiple lines on the same event.
There is a huge selection of generous promotions available for players on BetMGM, especially for those who like placing parlay bets. The bookmaker also has a Cash Out and Edit option, meaning some bets can either be edited or withdrawn while the event is still going.
- Find out more about the BetMGM Sportsbook Promo Code
FanDuel Sportsbook Massachusetts
|Same Game Parlay||✔|
|Refer A Friend Bonus||✔|
FanDuel is one of the most widespread online sports betting sites in the entire country, and already operates in neighboring New York and Connecticut. There is little doubt they’ll want to add the Bay State to areas where they operate when Massachusetts launches online sports betting.
FanDuel players are able to enjoy a huge selection of sports from across the world, with a deep selection of lines easy to navigate thanks to the site’s well designed layout. There are also a generous range of promotions, including regular deposit boosts, free pick’ems, and referral bonuses.
FanDuel also offers some of the best odds on the market. When the same bet is compared across all comparable online sportsbooks, it’s FanDuel who often gives bettors their best returns.
- Find out more about the FanDuel Sportsbook Promo Code
|Same Game Parlay||✔|
|Refer A Friend Bonus||X|
WynnBet already operates in nine states, including in neighboring New York, and have already signaled their intention to enter the online sports betting market in Massachusetts. This is mainly because parent company Wynn own and operate the Encore Boston Harbor casino.
The WynnBet online sportsbook has a limited number of sports to bet on, however fans will find a full range of lines on the most popular such as football, basketball, and baseball. WynnBet also offers The Playbook, which offers breakdowns and tips on top sporting events.
There are also some good bonuses available for players who enjoy parlay bets. Each weekend there is a $10 free bet available for any player who makes a $20+ multi-sport bet, which is paid out whether the original stake wins, loses, or is pushed.
DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts
|Same Game Parlay||✔|
|Refer A Friend Bonus||✔|
DraftKings is one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the entire country, and currently operates in 17 states including neighboring New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York. The company was founded, and is still based, in Massachusetts, and would undoubtedly want to operate in their home state.
Current DraftKings customers are able to enjoy a huge selection of lines available on a complete range of domestic and international sports. There is also a comprehensive catalogue of in-play and streamed events available.
What sets DraftKings apart from its rivals is the excellent analysis they offer on games. Players are able to see previews, recent stats, and betting trends and alongside current odds at the click of a button.
Massachusetts sports teams to bet on
Massachusetts is home to some of the most successful professional and college sports teams in the entire country. The Bay State wins so often that locals often refer to the state capital Boston as Titletown or the City of Champions, while some businesses on the celebration route even have permanent opening hours set aside for parade days.
With so many highly successful franchises calling Massachusetts home, there is a huge variety of local teams for bettors to wager on.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are today revered as one of the most successful NFL franchises of all time thanks to the incredible spell of dominance they enjoyed between in the 2000s and 2010s. During that time the team won an incredible six Super Bowl titles, while also making three unsuccessful appearances in the big game.
Their success was mainly down to the fearsome partnership forged between legendary quarterback Tom Brady and all time great head coach Bill Belichick. The pair ensured that the team were constant playoff contenders from when Brady won the starting quarterback role in 2001 to when he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
Head coach Belichick stayed with the team after Brady left New England for Tampa Bay, however the transition was not easy. After an unsteady season with Cam Newton at quarterback, the Patriots drafted rookie quarterback Mac Jones in 2021.
Jones lead the team to a 10-7 season and a playoff appearance in his first season, although was on the losing side when Brady returned to Foxborough with his new team. With Jones there is significant hope for the future, and gives fans a reason to not be quite as worried about returning to the unsuccessful early years of the franchise.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are one of the oldest baseball teams in America, having been founded as the Boston Americans in 1901 as one of the American League’s eight charter franchises. The team changed their name to the Red Sox in 1908, and four years later moved into their historic Fenway Park home where they remain to this day.
In their over-120 year history the team have won nine World Series titles, however these came with one of the longest gaps between championships in American sporting lore. This is thanks to the Red Sox’s fabled Curse of the Bambino.
Babe Ruth is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game, and helped the Red Sox to three back-to-back World Series titles between 1915 and 1918. However, after he was sold to the arch rival New York Yankees, the Red Sox endured an 86 year championship drought.
The Red Sox finally broke the curse in 2004 when, powered by the brilliant hitting of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, they finally won a sixth World Series. The Red Sox won further pennants in 2007, 2013, and 2018, and remain postseason threats under manager Alex Cora.
The Boston Bruins are the oldest active American franchise in the NHL, having been founded in 1926. They also represent one of the Original Six teams who exclusively contested the league between 1942 and 1967 before it began it entered the Expansion Era.
The Bruins have won six Stanley Cups in their history, along with collecting 26 Division Championships and three Presidents’ Trophies for the best winning record in the regular season. However, their last championship triumph came in the 2010/11 season, and before that Bruins fans need to think back to to 1971/72.
Despite a good run of seasons which have seen them make every postseason since 2016/17, the Bruins face a period of uncertainty in the future. Club captain and fourth all time leading Bruins scorer Patrice Bergeron became an unrestricted free agent the end of the 2021/22 season, leaving the Bruins with a big gap to fill as they continue their push for a seventh Stanley Cup.
The Boston Celtics were founded in 1946 as one of the original eight NBA franchises, and since then have consistently been one of the most successful. They are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most NBA Championships, with 17 for each team.
The cornerstone of the Boston Celtics success was the era of dominance they enjoyed in the 60s behind star center Bill Russell. Surrounded by a team of Hall of Famers, Russell lead the Celtics to eleven NBA Championships, including an incredible eight consecutively between 1959 and 1966. For his last two Championships, Russell was also the Celtics’ head coach.
The team enjoyed another Championship heavy era behind Larry Bird, who brought three home during his time with the team between 1979 and 1992. Just as famous as his success was Bird’s rivalry with LA Lakers star Magic Johnson, a feud which dated back to their days playing college basketball.
The future looks incredibly bright for the Celtics, too. Lead by star players Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, rookie head coach Ime Udoka lead the team all the way to the 2022 NBA Championship. Unfortunately for the Celtics, they were beaten 4-2 in the finals by Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors.
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution are the newest of Boston’s sports teams, having joined MLS in 1996 as one of the league’s ten charter clubs. The team are owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and also share the storied NFL franchise’s Gillette Stadium home.
Despite their long history, the New England Revolution has sadly had little success to repay their fanbase. Their only trophies have been the North American SuperLiga in 2008, Supporters’ Shield in 2021, and US Open Cup in 2007. Despite having the best regular season record in the 2021 season, the team then unfortunately did not make it past the quarter finals stage of the playoffs.
The Revolution also hold the unwanted record of having appeared in five MLS Cup finals without having taken home the championship.
Things are looking good for the future, though. The Revolution appointed former US Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena as head coach in 2019, and he has already guided them to a league best record and MLS Supporters’ Shield.
Boston University Terriers Ice Hockey
While Boston University play a range of Division I sports, they are most well known for their leading ice hockey program. The Terriers have brought home five NCAA Tournament Championships, making them one of the most successful programs in the country.
The Terriers are longstanding playoff contenders, with an incredible record of having made 22 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1990 alone. During these appearances they have made the Frozen Four – the semi final round of the tournament affectionately named after basketball’s Final Four – nine times, with their last title coming in 2009.
As should be expected for such a successful program, the Terriers see plenty of players drafted into the NFL. In their history they have also had 15 players taken as first round draft picks, the most recent being in 2019 when Trever Zegras was taken by the Anaheim Ducks with the 9th overall pick.
Boston College Eagles Football
Not to be outdone by their cross-city rivals, the Boston College Eagles also have a formidable ice hockey program. They too have five NCAA Tournament Championships, and have made twelve appearances since 1998.
However, the Boston College is better known as being the king of Division I Massachusetts football.
The Eagles only titles come from the mid-00s, where they won the 2004 Big East conference before moving on to the 2005, 2007, and 2008 ACC Atlantic division titles. However, Eagles fans are kept happy enough so long as they keep up their wins against fierce rivals such as Virginia Tech, Clemson, and UMass.
The Eagles are better known for the players they send to the NFL. They have an outstanding reputation for developing linemen, to the point where Boston College has been nicknamed ‘O-Line U’.
It is not only linemen the Eagles develop, though. Their 2008 third overall pick Matt Ryan was starting quarterback for the Eagles. Meanwhile, their 2012 ninth overall pick Luke Kuechly moved on to become Defensive Rookie of the Year and the youngest ever Defensive Player of the Year at linebacker for the Carolina Panthers.
Harvard Crimson Football
While Harvard may not be a national footballing powerhouse, they still deserve recognition as one of the founders of American football. Their annual rivalry against Yale – simply known as The Game and first held in 1875 – formed the basis of the gridiron rules which define the sport.
Harvard are also involved in some of the other oldest college football rivalries, with their series against Dartmouth dating back to 1882. Their rivalry with Penn dates to 1881, while they have been playing Princeton since 1877.
Harvard Crimson football is not all about history, though. They have won 17 conference titles since 1961, and have sent over 30 players to the NFL. Among the most well known of these are Super Bowl winning center Matt Birk and cult journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
Sports betting is now currently legal in Massachusetts. However, sports betting is not yet operating in the Bay State. It’s expected to launch in late 2022 or early 2023.
When did sports betting become legal in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts Governer Charlie Baker signed the bill into law in August of 2022. Currently, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is working through regulation details, and sports betting is expected to launch in late 2022 or early 2023.
More more information on the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts, click here.
Is DraftKings legal in Massachusetts?
It is perfectly legal to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Massachusetts, so players in the Bay State are able to use DraftKings for DFS.
However, bettors will not be able to use DraftKings’ leading online sports book until sports betting services have been activated.
Can I use FanDuel in MA?
Players in Massachusetts are able to use the top DFS services on FanDuel, allowing them to play for real money on popular fantasy sports such as baseball, football, and basketball.
However, they will be unable to use FanDuel’s top online sports book until sports betting services have been activated. This will hopefully happen by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
Can I play Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts?
Yes, DFS have been completely legal in Massachusetts since 2016. This means that players are free to take part and wager real money on daily fantasy sports in the Bay State.
Leading DFS platform DraftKings was founded in the state capital Boston, and still has one of its largest offices located in the heart of the city. This is one of the big reasons why Massachusetts decided to make playing daily fantasy sports for real money explicitly legal.
Is Retail sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
Retail sports betting is legal in Massachusetts, and there are plenty of locations which could add retail sportsbook facilities in the coming months. There are already three full service casinos in the Bay State who could add sportsbooks.
The Boston Red Sox have also said that they want to build a retail sports betting location near their historic Fenway Park home, which is located in the heart of Boston.
Although they have yet to make a public commitment, it is hard to see that Boston’s other famed sports teams – the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, and Boston Bruins – also wanting to add their own sportsbook facilities for fans to enjoy.