Call it the “Big Dig” of sports betting. Residents in the Commonwealth are no strangers to playing the waiting game, and now a popular question among Bay Staters is when will Massachusetts sports betting start? Below we will dish out a timeline of how things could transpire with legal wagering, and offer those who are antsy for sports betting a chance legally “bet” now.
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When will Massachusetts sports betting start?
Update: Retail sports betting in Massachusetts will start on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Legal wagering will be live at Encore Boston, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino. Online sports betting in Massachusetts is expected to start just ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
So when will Massachusetts sports betting start? The consensus is that a launch of legal online sportsbooks will not happen before the Super Bowl. Retail sports betting may be live sooner than online, so people in the Bay State may be able to place wagers in-person at Encore Boston, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino at some point during the NFL Playoffs. Online betting is tentatively set to start just prior to the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, so mid-March.
January has been a popular time of year for states to launch legal online sports betting. Two of the biggest state launches in the country occurred in the month of January as New York went live in January 2022 and Michigan launched in January 2021. These launches coincided with the NFL Playoffs, which is one of the more popular betting periods on the US sports calendar.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is still sorting through regulations and holding meetings regarding whether or not the legal sports betting system should be tied to the state lottery – in any way – among other items. The New Hampshire State Lottery and DraftKings, for instance, work hand-in-hand in the neighboring Granite State. It is unlikely that an online book and the Massachusetts State Lottery work together when legal Mass betting goes live, but the Lottery does want protections.
“As you draft sports wagering regulations, I urge you to incorporate provisions that will ensure that the Lottery continues to sustain itself and grow its revenue, providing valuable resources for every community in the Commonwealth,” said State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.