In Massachusetts, legislation allowing for the opening of Wynn Casinos in Everett, as well as an MGM resort casino in Springfield, sets an important precedent for the legal sports betting in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts has had a very progressive attitude towards sports betting since the passage of the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, with regards to horse racing, casinos, sports betting and the support of daily fantasy sports.
Recently, the Massachusetts gaming commission released a new White Paper about the future prospects of sports betting in the state. This document breaks down the history of legislation as well and analyzes the momentum of legislation in other states. It also discusses the Wire Act, passed in 1961, which prevents bookmakers from taking bets via phone or Internet to this day.
The document goes further by identifying potential licensees and operators in the state, setting up the framework if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission tackles the issue of sports betting in the future.
MA Sports Betting | Supreme Court Case
The key case for sports betting across the U.S. was Murphy vs. NCAA (formerly Christie vs. NCAA), under which New Jersey (through a suit filed by Governor Chris Christie) sought to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The suit argued that the 1992 law violates the 10th amendment by forcing states to carry out federal dictates in restricting sports betting within their borders.
On May 14, the court ruled in favor of New Jersey, and more than two dozen states have already begun to plan for a regulated sports betting market.
Officials in Massachusetts still have to approve legislation before fans can legally bet on sporting events with bookmakers or at casinos.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQ
Where could I place sports bets if it was legal in MA?
Each individual proprietor will have to consider the profitability of including sports betting at its facility. MGM declined to comment on the ongoing legislation to legalize sports betting and Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor, told the Boston Globe that Wynn Resorts was “watching the court case with great interest.”
How does the Supreme Court ruling have an impact on MA and other states?
Now that SCOTUS has found PASPA unconstitutional, it opens the door for any state to legalize and regulate sports betting.