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Gambling in Massachusetts

Though online gambling in Massachusetts is currently not legal, the attitudes are slowly shifting. With some of the most well-known sports teams in the US residing in the Bay State, plus the headquarters of the fantasy sports provider DraftKings, it might not be too long before we see some changes to the Massachusetts online gambling laws.

Though online gambling in Massachusetts is currently not legal, the attitudes are slowly shifting. With some of the most well-known sports teams in the US residing in the Bay State, plus the headquarters of the fantasy sports provider DraftKings, it might not be too long before we see some changes to the Massachusetts online gambling laws.

Available in this state

Online Sports Betting Massachusetts

Sports betting in Massachusetts is currently not legal. Unlike other states that have legislation heading through their House of Representatives, there are no such bills in the Bay State. The Governor, Charlie Baker, indicated in 2019 that he wanted to see Massachusetts sports betting legalized by mid-2020. Other key figures such as Senator Eric Lesser have said that the state government would not commit to that timeline. It is thought that the next major push will occur before the current Legislature adjourns in July 2020.

One of the biggest arguments in favor of legalizing sports betting is the revenue from online betting Massachusetts stands to gain. Any players wishing to place a bet need to hop across state borders to New Hampshire or Rhode Island. Both these states have legalized sports betting and they are taking much of the revenue that could instead be going to Massachusetts.

Another key reason to legalize gambling in Massachusetts is due to the prolific sports teams based here. Some of the most famous sports teams in the United States call Massachusetts their home. They include the Boston Celtics in the NBA, the New England Patriots in the NFL, and the Boston Red Sox in the MLB. While college sports might not be included in any legislation, there are also major collegiate teams here such as the 42 varsity sports of Harvard University. By legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts, sports books will then be able to offer odds to those who want to support their home teams.

Should any bills be introduced soon with the hopes to change Massachusetts’ online gambling laws, you will be able to find updates here on this page.

Online Casinos Massachusetts

Though commercial casinos have been legalized in Massachusetts, online casinos have not. Thanks to the 2011 Expanded Gaming Act, a slots parlor was opened in 2015 at Plainridge Park Casino. Two casinos also opened: the MGM Springfield in 2018 and the Encore Boston Harbor in 2019. The state’s two federally recognized tribes are also working to gain approval for opening casinos under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Anyone hoping to try online gambling in Massachusetts is going to find themselves out of luck. Some sites claim to offer play for all American players. However, it is not advised to use such sites and recommended that players in Massachusetts do not sign up for them. Since they are not regulated at a state level, they are not safe to play at and there is no guarantee that your financial data is protected there.

One clause that could be included in any bills would be unique online licenses that do not need to be tied to a brick-and-mortar casino. This would allow online-only casinos to offer their products in the state; allowing Massachusetts residents to play their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own homes. However, this will require changes to an existing law.

Currently, using a telephone for “gaming purposes” is illegal under state laws. If a player is caught using their telephone to place bets, they could face fines of up to $2000 or up to a year in prison. This law will have to be amended if online casino play is going to be offered in Massachusetts as much of the market is tied to mobile play.

If a bill to legalize online gambling in Massachusetts gains any traction, you will be able to follow its progress here.

Online Poker Massachusetts

Just like slots and casino games, online poker is banned in the Bay State. Though you might be able to find live poker at the brick-and-mortar gambling casinos in Massachusetts, you won’t find it online.

Many online poker sites do claim to offer games for American players. However, just like with online casinos, these sites are not regulated at a state level. Any games are not strictly legal and there is always a chance that the site could be a scam. Players also need to watch out for that law restricting mobile play for “gaming purposes” as it could have some serious ramifications if they are caught playing poker on their smartphones.

If online poker is included in any bills amending the Massachusetts online gambling laws, you will be able to find updates here.

Top Massachusetts Daily Fantasy Sites

Massachusetts was one of the first states to introduce legislation covering daily fantasy sports. Fantasy sports are a fantastic pastime, so it is great to see the residents of the Bay State get access to them. Sign up to one of our recommended sites to enjoy daily fantasy sports today.

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Daily Fantasy Massachusetts

With popular daily fantasy provider DraftKings based in Boston, it is unsurprising that Massachusetts players can take advantage of the opportunities offered by these games. In 2016, the attorney general, Maura Healey, created some of the first regulations surrounding fantasy sports in the US. Players can take part in many different sports but events surrounding college games are currently not permitted. You must be 21+ to take part in daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts.

Many of the daily fantasy sports providers also offer sportsbooks. If online sports betting is legalized in Massachusetts, these fantasy providers might be some of the first locations to offer sports wagers to the public. Since the public will already be loyal to certain providers, this is likely to be an easy transition for them as they begin to make sports wagers.

Online Lottery Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Lottery was introduced in 1971. Unlike other states that set up a separate governing body for their lotteries, the Massachusetts Lottery is managed by a commission. There are several daily and instant games. Players can also take part in the multi-jurisdictional games Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball. You must be 18+ to buy tickets for the Massachusetts Lottery.

Participants can choose to play the Massachusetts Lottery online or they can head to one of the many stores around the state that sell tickets. In addition to tickets for individual draws, players can also purchase season tickets. These allow them to get a set number of draws over a certain period. Season tickets can be bought for both in-state and multi-jurisdictional games. The free VIP clip allows players to participate in second chance draws and receive exclusive news about the lottery.

Other Important Gambling Facts Massachusetts

Unlike other states that only withhold on lottery prizes over $5000, the Massachusetts Lottery withholds 5% of prizes worth more than $600. The net profit from the lottery goes back to the Commonwealth and is given directly to local cities for them to use. These profits have been put into parks and recreation projects, school services, and many more projects. In 2019, over £1 billion in net profit was returned to the Commonwealth from the Massachusetts Lottery.

Should a bill be introduced to change sports gambling in Massachusetts, there might also be some changes to the restrictions around daily fantasy sports. Firstly, control of the regulations would shift from the office of the attorney general to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Fantasy sports operators would be required to pay $100,000 or 1.5% of their gross revenue in tax. Players would also take a hit with winners receiving a tax of 15% on their prizes.

Gambling Massachusetts Conclusion

Currently, there is little movement towards legalizing Massachusetts online gambling, but we can expect to see some changes in the next few years. Pressure from neighboring states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island is causing Massachusetts lawmakers to look closely at introducing new laws. The legalization of sportsbooks and online casinos is on the way and you will be able to find coverage of any new bills tackling the matter here.

FAQS

Though many forms of online gambling are restricted in Massachusetts, you can head to the state-approved slots parlor at the Plainridge Casino Resort or the casinos of the MGM Springfield or Encore Boston Harbor. Any of these offers a classic brick-and-mortar casino experience.

Massachusetts online gambling is very restricted. Online sportsbooks, casino rooms, and poker games are all banned. Wagering through a cellphone or telephone is also illegal and can carry heavy penalties.

DraftKings is a legal provider of daily fantasy sports in Massachusetts. However, players cannot use the sportsbook facilities offered by DraftKings as sports betting is currently illegal in the Bay State.

Author

Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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