Massachusetts Sports Betting Legal Updates
Massachusetts has yet to legalize sports betting within the state. As it stands, there are no federal laws against or for sports betting, and it is completely up to the States of the Union to decide if they would like to legalize it.
New Bill on the Table
Massachusetts has recently gotten a big boost to its chances for sports betting in 2021. The Governor, Charlie Baker, has proposed his own bill to legalize sports betting. The bill is currently named HD 678 and is looking to allow for both brick-and-mortar as well as online sports gambling.
Some of the details of this bill include a $100,000 application fee for sports betting and a total of $500,000 for a license. This is a long cry away from the rumored $12 million that New York will be asking for to operate an online sportsbook.
However, Massachusetts is taking a play out of New Jersey’s playbook. They are looking to have somewhat relaxed regulations and fees in hopes of having a massive betting market. As of recent, states seem to be leaning more and more towards the Tennessee route, the opposite side of the spectrum with higher tax rates and tighter restrictions.
It will be interesting to see the kind of market Massachusetts can create with a lax regulatory stance. It does have one thing going for it in DraftKings being headquartered in the state. DraftKings is arguably the biggest sports betting platform in the United States at this point.
2020’s Failed Attempt
Sports betting in Massachusetts was put on hold in mid-2020 after the Senate scrapped sports betting from the economic development bill, H4887. After getting a huge thumbs up from the House, the Senate felt the bill was better amended without the sports betting language in it.
Massachusetts was expecting to get sports betting in 2020, and while possible, the state failed to get any kind of lone sports betting bill done.
Senators did not believe that it was right to slap a sports betting bill on the back of the economic development bill. They are in favor of passing sports betting, just not in this manner.
The House of Representatives felt that adding sports betting would bring in additional and much-needed revenue.
The proposal included a $250k application fee covering the first five years of operation with a $100k renewal fee for the second five years.
The state had proposed a 15 percent tax on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts with an additional one percent for events taking place in Massachusetts.
Is Sports Betting Coming in 2021 to Massachusetts?
There is no concrete answer to this question. Massachusetts very likely could legalize sports betting and get it operational even before the 2021 NFL Season. However, the new bill will have its biggest test in the Senate. The Senate has consistently been what has stood in the way of sports wagering in the state.
Even if the state does legalize, there is no timeline for when sports betting will launch. We have seen it take more than a year in some states for the regulations to be hashed out and the licenses to be awarded.
Top 5 Mobile Sportsbook Options
Here are the current top five online and mobile sportsbook options if The Bay State launches sports wagering.
DraftKings is not only one of the top choices for a sportsbook in the Bay State, but it is headquartered within Boston. DraftKings has been at the forefront of lobbying efforts in the state to legalize. The company most likely would be the first operator to launch if the state does move forward with online sports betting.
The current welcome bonus offered by DraftKings is a $1,000 deposit match at a 20% match rate for your first deposit. This means that with a big $5k first-time deposit, you can earn yourself $1k in bonus cash. You also get a $50 free bet following that first deposit!
FanDuel Sportsbook is the arch-nemesis of DraftKings. The two have been rivals in daily fantasy for some time and now are #1 and #2 when it comes to sports betting in the United States. FanDuel Sportsbook undoubtedly offers an incredible sports betting experience with its very well-designed mobile app.
The FanDuel welcome offer for new users to the sportsbook has consistently been a risk-free bet. In recent times the risk-free bet amount is worth $1,000. That is a $1k wager that you can place with the knowledge your betslip will be refunded by FanDuel if you were to lose.
BetMGM is maybe the most prestigious of the online sportsbooks as it is able to represent the MGM International Resorts brand name. The company has slowly crept its way into the top three sportsbooks in the United States. It has done so off the back of offering some incredible services with its app and desktop site, as well as securing loads of professional partnerships.
BetMGM has offered all sorts of welcome bonuses in the past. However, it is currently offering a $600 risk-free bet for the new users to its online sportsbook. This offer allows you to make some serious cash off of a wager that you cannot lose money on, up to that $600 amount.
The first non-American bookmaker on the list is William Hill, a British operator that has brought its fantastic online and mobile wagering across the Atlantic to the United States. Now, it needs to be said that while William Hill is UK-based, it is not an offshore sportsbook. Offshore sportsbooks are unlicensed and unregulated; William Hill only operates in states that have legalized and have awarded William Hill with a license.
William Hill has been giving out a risk-free bet to the new users of its sportsbook. This wager ranges from $300-$500 depending on the state and the laws within that state. The risk-free wager works the same regardless of the amount, with your bet being refunded with a single free bet if you were to lose.
PointsBet is an Australian bookmaker who has teamed up with the renowned NBC Sports in America. PointsBet is a fresh face to the bookmaking industry as it’s still a rather young company. However, the sportsbook that it has created is one of the most polished and exciting platforms in the United States market.
PointsBet offers a whopping $2,000 worth of risk-free bets for its sportsbook when new users sign up. This $2,000 is split up into two risk-free bets. One $500 risk-free bet on traditional odds and a $1,500 risk-free wager for PoitnsBetting. PointsBetting is a form of wagering that is only available on PointsBet Sportsbook and is rather high-risk.
Physical Casino Options in Massachusetts
Encore Boston Harbor
Gaming Machines: 2800
Table Games: 166
Poker Tables: 74
1 Horizon Way, Everett, MA 02149, USA
Gaming Machines: 2550
Table Games: 120
Poker Tables: 23
One MGM Way, Springfield, MA 01103
Plainridge Park Casino
Gaming Machines: 1250
One MGM Way, Springfield, MA 01103
301 Washington St, Plainville, MA 02762, USA
Massachusetts Sports Teams
Massachusetts and specifically Boston have always been a classic American sports destination. Some of the most historic franchises in all of North American professional sports reside in the state and city.
New England Patriots
The single biggest betting attraction in the United States is the National Football League by a wide margin. The New England Patriots, which technically reside in Foxborough, Massachusetts, are the home team for the Boston area and the entire state. The Patriots hold a tie with the Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins at 6.
It is clear that the Patriots will be a huge betting attraction in Massachusetts. Between being an extremely successful franchise, the rabid fan base, and the betting success of the NFL, the Patriots are a huge entity for sports wagering in the state. Every bookmaker will be looking to make the Patriots its official partner when sports betting launches.
The second most bet on sport in the United States is basketball, specifically the National Basketball Association. The Boston Celtics are one of the original big teams in the NBA. This is another Massachusetts franchise that is tied at the top for the most championships in their respective sport. The Celtics currently hold 17 NBA Finals wins, only tied with the Lakers for most ever.
The NBA franchises in every state with legalized sports betting have been a hot destination for sportsbooks to target for a professional partnership. The Detroit Pistons have multiple partners in Michigan, including DraftKings and FanDuel. Many experts expect the same from the Celtics when Massachusetts sports wagering launches.
Boston Red Sox
Despite housing both the Patriots and the Celtics, two of the most prolific franchises in professional sports, the Boston Red Sox may be the most famous franchise in Massachusetts. The Boston Red Sox is an original baseball team dating back to the 1800s. The team sits with 9 World Series titles, good for fourth in the all-time World Series wins list.
The Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park are American staples, and it would not be a shock to see the team have an impressive amount of money wagered on them compared to other MLB franchises that reside in states with legal sports betting. Boston has always been a baseball town, and sports betting will just add another dimension to that love.
The National Hockey League is the biggest professional sport in Canada, but Massachusetts does love their team. The Bruins are yet another successful Massachusetts franchise with 6 Stanley Cup titles, 4th on the all-time list.
The Bruins will not be as big of a sports betting draw as the Celtics or Patriots, but the team will still have respectful numbers in such a sports-crazed city and state. Many sportsbooks would love to team up with the Bruins and get an exclusive betting partnership when the time comes.
The first of only two FBS teams in Massachusetts, the Boston College Eagles are still a big football and basketball program in the area. Boston College has claims to one national title from 1940 but continues to produce NFL players and good football to this day.
UMass is one of the more recent additions to the FBS, only joining in 2013. Since then, it has been hard for the team to establish itself as a solid division one program. However, the team is making strides and getting better each year. The basketball program is another solid team that has been improving and getting more and more national recognition.
While Harvard does not play in the FBS in football, the program is still well renowned. The team produces quite a few NFL talents for not being an FBS school. Harvard claims 7 national titles and has 6 unclaimed titles. It is one of the original college football programs that really put football on the American sports map during the 1900s. The program was established in 1873.
Harvard also produces a great division one men’s basketball program year in and year out, something that may be a popular bet within Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Market Size
Massachusetts has a population of almost 7 million people. While not the biggest, this is still going to be a very sizeable sport betting market. New Jersey reports an 8.8 million population and reached a billion-dollar handle in December of 2020. While a lot of this is visiting bets, it still shows the market scale that a state with 7-9 million people can have.
One of the keys when looking at Massachusetts’ market size is taking into account the fact that all the sports franchises are massive and successful. When sports teams are interesting to watch and fans are engaged, there are going to be more wagers, which is great news for the Massachusetts market.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts
Daily fantasy sports are allowed in Massachusetts. This includes the hometown DraftKings DFS app, which is thriving in the Bay State. You can also play on FanDuel, Yahoo, or Underdog in Massachusetts when it comes to daily fantasy sports.
It has still yet to be seen if the legislation that is being discussed will allow for the sharing of daily fantasy and sports betting wallets among the applications that could possibly offer both in the state.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQ
- Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
- Does Massachusetts have any form of legal betting?
- Will sports betting be legalized in Massachusetts in 2021?
- Can I play daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts?
- What is the closest state to Massachusetts to offer sports betting?
- What sports betting apps are available in Massachusetts?
- Are MyBookie and Bovada safe to use in Massachusetts?
- Can you wager on college sports in Massachusetts?
- Is daily fantasy sports considered sports betting?
- Can I play online casino games or online poker in Massachusetts?
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
No, at this moment in time, Massachusetts has yet to launch or legalize online or in-person sports betting within the state. There have been several attempts, and there are bills in-play that could legalize it this year if it can pass the Senate.
Does Massachusetts have any form of legal betting?
Yes, there are in-person casinos within state borders. There is also daily fantasy football, which is not technically betting, but is a place to win real money on sports. However, the current State Congress and Governor are working on legalizing sports betting and more.
Will sports betting be legalized in Massachusetts in 2021?
This is unknown. What can be said is that the answer is trending towards yes. It seems that all three parts of the State Government, the House, Senate, and Governor, all want to get sports betting done. The only hang-up has been the Senate consistently demanding changes to bills.
Can I play daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts?
Yes, daily fantasy sports contests are widely available in the State of Massachusetts. You can play with a myriad of different operators, including the leaders of FanDuel and DraftKings. These two are far and away the biggest daily fantasy sports entities in the United States.
What is the closest state to Massachusetts to offer sports betting?
New Jersey and Rhode Island are both extremely close and offer sports wagering. In fact, New Jersey has the widest variety of sportsbooks in the nation. There is also New York that has in-person betting Upstate and is looking to legalize mobile betting in 2021.
What sports betting apps are available in Massachusetts?
There are no sports betting apps available at this time in Massachusetts as sports betting has yet to be legalized. However, once sports betting does come to the Bay State, we project DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM to be among the first to enter.
Are MyBookie and Bovada safe to use in Massachusetts?
No, MyBookie and Bovada are both offshore sportsbooks. These sportsbooks have no oversight in the United States, meaning that you have no protections as a bettor. There are also no regulations regarding odds or payouts under US Jurisdiction when using these options.
Can you wager on college sports in Massachusetts?
This is unknown. If Massachusetts takes the New Jersey approach, then college betting will be legal except for any event that includes an in-state program. This would make wagers on Boston College, UMass, and Harvard all illegal. However, this is not set in stone.
Is daily fantasy sports considered sports betting?
No, and due to this reason, you can play daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts. Sports betting has a strict definition for each state, and according to Massachusetts, daily fantasy contests do not fall under this category under the current state laws.
Can I play online casino games or online poker in Massachusetts?
No, at this moment, Massachusetts does not offer any online casino games or online poker in the state. On the bright side, with sports betting trending towards legalization, this could open the door for both to be looked at by the state legislatures.