Massachusetts Online Gambling
Massachusetts is expected to join a growing number of states in legalizing online sports betting once lawmakers hammer out the final details. Massachusetts would join nearby Rhode Island and New Hampshire in allowing mobile and online sports wagers, though it’s unclear if the state will push for a wholesale legalization of all online gambling.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has endorsed sports betting legalization and has submitted his own proposal, which would allow online sports betting platforms to accept wagers even if they aren’t affiliated with any land-based casinos. The bill would allow wagers on all professional sports but not college sports. State lawmakers have submitted more than a dozen of their own proposals, with some calling for college betting to be allowed.
The issue has been stuck in committee hearings but, for all intents and purposes, Massachusetts is expected to join its New England neighbors in approving sports betting in the near future. Some lawmakers have also called for the legalization of online casinos, though it’s unclear if the idea has enough support. So far, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are the only states to have legalized online gambling.
Online Gambling Massachusetts
The state currently has three physical casinos — MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor — which allow gambling but not sports betting. A slew of bills being considered in the state legislature is expected to change that, and allow the casinos to take wagers in person and online. Some bills would allow other companies, like Boston-based DraftKings, to set up shop without partnering with a land-based casino.
Massachusetts, which is home to the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and a number of high-profile college teams, was among the first states to legalize daily fantasy sports. DraftKings is pushing the state to pass at least one sports betting bill, which lawmakers are confident will happen, but legalization is on hold until at least 2020.
All signs point to the bill being passed in the near future. The physical casinos and daily fantasy sports operators like DraftKings recently participated in committee hearings and appear to have ironed out an agreement that would allow both to coexist. The New England Sports Network (NESN) recently launched a three-hour daily show focused entirely on sports betting. All that’s left is a vote and the governor’s signature.
Massachusetts Gambling Sites
While MGM, Plainridge, and Encore offer extensive games at their physical casinos, there are no legal online casinos in Massachusetts at the moment. If the sports betting bill is approved, existing casinos and possibly other companies will be able to offer wagers online and on mobile devices.
Despite the bipartisan push for sports betting legalization, it’s unclear whether lawmakers will also support legalizing online casinos, allowing players to play slots, blackjack, and roulette right from the comfort of their home.
While the issue is legislated, some “social casinos” have found a way around the law and offer a unique way to play online slots, blackjack, poker, roulette and other games without running afoul of any state restrictions.
These social casinos use a “sweepstakes” model wherein you can purchase play money and receive a “free gift” of coins that you can redeem for real cash with each purchase. You can use these coins to play all your favorite games and then withdraw the cash equivalent when you’re done. Since you cannot technically bet real money nor buy the coins, you can enjoy the games without any legal worries.