Massachusetts Sports Betting

Recent news and details about sports betting in MA


There have been several bills introduced that would make sports betting legal in Massachusetts, as well as a growing push to finally get it past the goal line. The progress that has been made in neighboring states is only accelerating the calls for action. Before too long, folks in Massachusetts could have some legal sports betting options of their own to pursue.

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How Will Sports Betting Work In MA?

Efforts to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts in 2020 wound up falling flat, but lawmakers are taking another crack at it in 2021. There are a variety of bills under consideration, with one version moving fast through the state House. Another bill in the Senate (S269) is awaiting action. Of course, that still means plenty of work remains to be done.

Among the items to be sorted out are the tax rate, the number of licenses, and locations for retail betting. On the tax front, H3977 suggests a 12.5% tax rate for retail wagers and 15% for online bets. The actual number of available licenses will be sorted out as the process moves forward. But H3977 highlights the following:

  • Three sports betting skins per each of the state’s three casinos (totaling nine).
  • Racetracks and simulcast sites can launch one online sportsbook each.

As for retail, there has been debate on whether to allow kiosks at local businesses in addition to the expected locations at casinos. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor seem like natural locations for retail shops. Massachusetts-based DraftKings is among those waiting patiently for progress in the state, as are brands such as Barstool and BetMGM.

Online and mobile betting is expected to be permitted, while there remain questions to be answered on wagering on college sports. Gov. Charlie Baker has previously made it known that he would like to ban wagering on NCAA events.

The Path Toward Legalization

There has been a push for legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts for several years, but they have yet to bear fruit. The 2020 legislative session ended without substantive progress being made, in spite of optimism that suggested that there would be liftoff.

Fast forward to summer 2021, and a whopping 20+ bills are under discussion. The ultimate goal is to hammer it down to a single bill that will be put up to vote. It’s going to take some doing to get to that point, but the good news is that the legislature is at least actively discussing it. Once there’s a final bill to approve, it will have to pass through both the state house and senate before heading to the governor’s desk for a signature. The state legislative session runs through to the end of the year, but there’s no firm timeline on when to expect more progress.

As part of the ongoing discussion, it has been made crystal clear that those interested in sports betting are pursuing other options in neighboring states. New Hampshire and Rhode Island are siphoning off potential MA-based consumers. Sports betting could also be fully up and running in Connecticut before too long, and the push to launch legal online and mobile betting in New York continues. Pressure will only continue to grow in Massachusetts as those developments come to pass.

When will Massachusetts sports betting launch?

This million-dollar question remains unanswered. If the legislature manages to pass a bill before the session comes to a close this year, then 2022 is a reasonable target. Optimistically, if they get things together quicker than that, it’s not out of the question for an accelerated launch before 2021 comes to a close.

MA Sports Betting FAQ

No, it’s not currently legal to bet on sports in Massachusetts. There is legislation under discussion in the state legislature with hopes that progress will be made before too long.

There has been a growing push to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts, especially in the wake of action taken by neighboring states. Based on that, it seems like there will finally be some progress made in the coming months.

We’ll have to wait for any announced legislation to be finalized before the actual answer is known, but online betting in Massachusetts is a good possibility. For the vast majority of legal sports betting states, legalizing online and mobile wagering has gone hand-in-hand with allowing retail wagering.

Almost a certainty. It seems more than likely once legalization efforts are successful. Casino operators in the state such as Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International have come out in favor and will be natural fits for retail shops, but there remains debate on where else in-person wagering may be allowed.

The legal gambling age in Massachusetts is 21. It’s expected that sports betting rules and regulations will call for the same.

No, offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada are not legal to play on in Massachusetts, nor in any other US state for that matter. Playing on an offshores sportsbook comes with several risks, not the least of which is the loss of your money or your identity. Bovada and other offshore barnds are not bound by US or Massachusetts consumer protections or regulations, which means you have limited options for any recourse.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is the most likely overseeing body for sports betting in the state. The agency oversees all other gambling in the state.

MA Sports Betting News

May Numbers Suggest Plenty Leaving MA For Legal Sports Betting

June 28, 2022

There is about a month left for legislators to find middle ground on a bill that would legalize MA sports betting. According to monthly sports betting reports, bettors in Massachusetts are not waiting idly – they are taking their dollars out of state. Data from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island bucked the monthly trend […]

The post May Numbers Suggest Plenty Leaving MA For Legal Sports Betting appeared first on Legal Sports Report.

MA Sports Betting Conference Committee Still Working On Differences

June 21, 2022

Negotiations are ongoing to find a middle ground on the two MA sports betting bills before the end of session July 31. That is according to Rep. Jerry Parisella, the co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and one of three House members involved in the conference committee focused on legalizing […]

The post MA Sports Betting Conference Committee Still Working On Differences appeared first on Legal Sports Report.

House Speaker Questions ‘Purpose’ Of Senate MA Sports Betting Bill

June 2, 2022

Recent comments suggest the House does not plan to budge much on its contested MA sports betting proposal. House Speaker Ron Mariano cannot figure out the “purpose” of the Senate bill passed in late April, he told reporters after he spoke at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on May 26. The two pieces of […]

The post House Speaker Questions ‘Purpose’ Of Senate MA Sports Betting Bill appeared first on Legal Sports Report.