Gambling in Massachusetts
Sports Will Be Legal: TBD
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2018
Casino Will Be Legal: TBD
Poker Will Be Legal: TBD
Lottery Will Be Legal: TBD

Online Gambling in Massachusetts: The Best Massachusetts Gambling Sites for 2019

Massachusetts Daily Fantasy Sports

Massachusetts has rather recently joined the growing number of states to officially legalize and welcome daily fantasy sports. One of the most well-known daily fantasy sports providers, DraftKings, is actually based in Boston and therefore joyously welcomed the ruling, which officially became law in 2018. Only players over 21 may participate in the contests, and there is a financial limitation of $1,000 per month imposed for all players.

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Gambling Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a long history of gambling laws being introduced, repealed and re-introduced again. It’s a fairly legislative state, which is somewhat unsurprising considering it’s the birthplace of some of America’s earliest Presidents. The lottery had possibly the most back-and-forth of any of the gambling styles, having been initially banned in 1719, legalized in 1745, banned in 1833, then finally legalized for good (so far) in 1971. That same year, bingo/beano was also added to the list of legal gambling, as it had been banned since 1943. In terms of sports, horseracing wagers have been legal since 1934, when horse and dog racing came under regulations. Dog racing has since been banned as early as 2009, which forced two tracks to close instead. When it comes to casinos, the Massachusetts scene has been slowly expanding since 2011 when three locations were enabled by the Expanded Gaming Act.

Massachusetts Sports Betting

Home-grown fans of the New England Patriots were still unable to place a bet on their team to win the Super Bowl in 2019, which is unfortunate as they would have come away winners. Currently, placing sports bets in Massachusetts is still illegal, though that does look ripe to change in the near future. For the time being, Bay Staters are only allowed to place bets on horse races as all other sports betting regulations, both online and in land-based locations, are still pending.

Massachusetts Casino Gambling

When the Expanded Gaming Act passed in 2011, it broadened the Massachusetts gambling scene from just betting on horse racing and playing the lottery to include the whole casino sector. The first location – Plainridge Park Casino and Slot Lounge – opened in 2015 and remained the sole casino in the state until summer 2018, when the enormous MGM Springfield opened. At the time of writing, the third casino, the Wynn Boston Harbor, is yet to open, with an expected grand opening in June 2019. Currently there are no legal online casinos for Massachusetts residents.

Massachusetts Poker

Unfortunately, if a Bay Stater is looking to play a hand of poker, they’ll need to be physically present at one of the land-based casinos. Or, if luck should strike, a charity gambling night of poker is also allowed. However, no online poker is allowed in the state, and there are no proposals currently under consideration to change this. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has information pages on its website for each of the types of poker that can legally be played, outlining the rules that must be in place.

Massachusetts Lottery

After something of a love-hate relationship with lottery laws the Massachusetts Lottery that we know today was legalized in 1971. The state-run organization offers a number of different lotto, Keno and instant win tickets, all of which can be purchase only in person at one of numerous retail outlets. Players must be over 18 in order to purchase tickets, and though there is a mobile-optimized page for results, no tickets are allowed to be sold online.

History of Gambling in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has one of the most well-documented and longest gambling histories in the States, having laid down its first legislation in 1719. Most of the developments in the gambling legislation have been due to campaign pressure or to raise funds for war efforts. In more recent history, Massachusetts has been fairly pro-gambling, continuously investigating new sectors for their value and regulatory impacts.

Massachusetts Gambling History
1719 All lotteries are banned until 1745, then banned again in 1833.
1934 Horse and dog racing is legalized, though dog racing is banned in 2009
1971 The Massachusetts Lottery is legalized and open to the public.
2011 Plans begin for land-based casinos after the Expanded Gaming Act passes.
2018 The MGM Resorts Springfield opens in August.
2018 A bill passes to legalize daily fantasy sports.
2018 A bill is proposed to allow online and land-based sports betting.

Massachusetts State Facts

This state has been the birthplace for a lot of interesting people and things, with a number of important inventions coming from the Bay State. For example, four US Presidents hail from Massachusetts: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, John Adams, John Quincy Adams and George H.W. Bush. This is the same place that also produced volleyball, rocket fuel, sewing machines and vulcanized rubber. Though it hasn’t maintained the same path-making attitude for gambling across the US, it hasn’t been left behind, either. Instead, it closely follows a few of the pioneer states in legalizing more types of gambling.

Facts About Massachusetts
Population 6,902,149
Min. Income $2,080.00
Biggest Offline Gambling Location MGM Springfield
Gambling Commissioner
Spoken Languages English 77.4%, Spanish 8.6%, Portuguese 2.8%, Chinese 2.1%
Biggest Local Sports Team
Massachusetts Tax Authority
Link to the State Law https://massgaming.com/regulations/mgcregulations/
Gambling Winning Tax 5%
State Website Link https://www.mass.gov/
Famous Local Gamblers Daniel Colman

Gambling Age in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has the same gambling age for both its online daily fantasy sports and land-based casinos, which is 21. The current proposal to legalize sports betting would restrict participation to players over 21, also. The required age in order to purchase lottery tickets at one of the retail outlets in the state is, however, 18, so there are still some options for those under 21 who are keen on a game of chance.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    The only legal online gambling activity is daily fantasy sports. It’s permitted for players 21 and above.
  • Alcohol Age
    As of 1984, the legal age for drinking alcohol in Massachusetts is 21 and over.
  • Weed Age
    People ages 21 and over are legally allowed to purchase and use marijuana for recreational use.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

Those experiencing symptoms of problem gambling can seek help and advice from the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (MCCG), which is an affiliate organization of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). It offers services such as a help line, educational materials and events to help those suffering from the disease. The state is also a member of the GameSense project, which is a British Columbia-based organization that aims to educate people on the types of casino games they are playing, the odds of winning, and how to safely manage a budget for gambling.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

The most likely change to Massachusetts gambling laws revolves around its sports betting legislation. At the time of writing, Governor Charlie Baker had just revealed his latest proposal to legalize and tax sports betting for both online and in Massachusetts casinos. The proposal also suggests that daily fantasy sports operators will be allowed to offer sports bets, and have a tax slapped on the revenues. Betting on college and other amateur sports competitions of any kind will be illegal.

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