Massachusetts Finally Approved Sports Betting

Sports betting will be alive and well in New England as Massachusetts is the latest newcomer to the Sports-Betting party. Massachusetts Finally Approved Sports-Betting. To make it simple, here’s a little Q & A.

Massachusetts Finally Approved Sports-Betting

How Long Did It Take?

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a historic decision when it overturned the federal ban on sports gambling which prohibited betting in most states. Before that, Nevada was the only state in which a bettor could wager on the results of a game. Now, the legality of sports gambling is up to the state level of government.

In Massachusetts, NETG’s friend, Steve Ruddock, summed it up as “paralysis by analysis. The support to legalize it is strong, but the means of getting it accomplished is still up in the air.”

The Governor, Charlie Baker, proposed his bill for sports betting in 2021. The House (in July 2021) and Senate (in April 2022) passed sports betting bills. However, differences stalled both.

Why Does This Matter?

Lawmakers say it should bring in at least $60 million yearly in tax revenue and $70 million or more in licensing fees every five years.

Legal Sportsbooks Allowed

The legislation approved by Massachusetts lawmakers will allow betting in the Bay State through licensed casinos and horse racetracks. In addition, casinos will partner with at least one sportsbook – including their retail sportsbook – through the company that operates their casino, where possible.

The commonwealth’s 2022 sports betting bill will allow retail or online sportsbooks to launch under a temporary license for a $1 million fee. A permanent license will run $5 million, renewable after five years for another five years.

Under Massachusetts’ sports betting bill:

  • Will grant up to seven licenses to sportsbooks not tethered to casinos or racetracks.
  • Casinos, racetracks, or simulcast facilities will not be allowed to partner with sportsbooks holding one of those seven stand-alone licenses.

Who Can I Bet On?

Any professional and college teams are not located in Massachusetts unless the team participates in a tournament. However, bets are prohibited while a college game is underway.

Where Can I Go To For In-person Sports-betting (Sportsbooks)?

Casinos and tracks will offer in-person and mobile sports betting.

All three casinos will have sportsbooks for in-person wagers. (Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park).

For now, there will be no sports-betting kiosks in restaurants, bars, small businesses, and convenience stores, but a commissioned study will explore the pros and cons of expansion.

Robin Aubin