Online Gambling in


Regulated sports betting is not available in the most populous state in the New England region - yet! There's a fair amount of work that has to be done but there is legislation active. The state has gambling permitted in land-based casinos and a state lottery in place. Plus, daily fantasy sports betting is legal in Mass but real sports betting is still on deck for now.


*2023 Update: Sports betting is now legal in MA*

Massachusetts Online Gambling - At A Glance

Online sports betting: Not Legal ❌

Online casinos & poker: Not Legal ❌

Land-based casinos & sportsbooks: Legal* ✅ (*Casinos only)

Remote sign-up: No ❌

Legal online gambling since: TBD

Legal MA gambling age: 21+

Online gambling guide
Massachusetts flag

Legal Gambling in Massachusetts

The benefits of introducing widespread sports betting are now so far reaching that the majority of states are trying to sweep all previous objections aside with the intention of joining the party.

What’s more? The popularity of sports betting is on such a scale now that states can no longer deny its patrons the opportunity to get involved.

This is very much the case in Massachusets.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a faster growing industry than sports betting.

The state’s gaming commission have already estimated that sports betting could bring in $61 million a year.

But while the decision is at least moving, it appears sport bettors may have to remain patient in The Bay State for some time to come. Here’s why.

Current Status

Current Status

- Gambling permitted in land-based casinos

- State lottery in place: Players must be over 18, and 21 to enter casinos

- Daily fantasy sports betting legal

- Framework for online gambling not yet in place but desire there

- 2019 set to prove pivotal in sports betting law being passed

The Massachusetts Way

Legalized and regulated sports betting is not currently a thing in Massachusetts and a fair amount of work has to be done before a law is even considered being accepted.

In fact, it may take some time before we even get around to debating the issues that stand in the way.

As you may know, things are pretty laid back in Massachusetts when it comes to this kind of thing.

Take, the introduction of the casino industry in 2011 as a prime example. Not only was it late to the beginning of this party, the first resort casino – MGM Springfield – took seven years to open.

Consider also, the ongoing struggles to roll out a state lottery.

Clearly, the lawmakers responsible for making the call on such decisions aren’t known to shift themselves quickly. But this just seems to be the Massachusetts way.

What is DFS?

What is DFS?

Daily Fantasy Sports is an esport. Players contribute a couple of dollars to buy into a league where simulated games are played out. Whichever league you opt for is based on the real life teams and players of that league, while the main appeal comes in competing with thousands of other players online to predict the outcome of the ‘games’ being played that day. The player with the most points stands to win as much as a million dollars.

A law regulating Daily Fantasy Sports was passed in 2016 and the industry has blossomed in the state ever since. Now, DraftKings and FanDuel, the two biggest DFS players, are championing for the introduction of sports betting, harder than ever before.

Draftkings, for whom Boston is home, are believed to be in the early stages of beginning a PR campaign outlining the many benefits of legal, regulated online sports betting for the patrons of Massachusetts. They already have a foot in the door in regards to sports betting; DraftKings became the first sportsbook to go live anywhere outside Nevada when it opened its doors in New Jersey.

FanDuel, meanwhile, have recently been acquired by European betting giant Paddy power Betfair and will also press hard to add Massachusetts among others to its portfolio after making its first splash in the industry in New Jersey.

Concerns whether sports betting will benefit or hinder casinos?

The main crux of the issue centers around actually getting people physically into casinos. Ideally, it’s the demographic of sports bettors between 16 and 24 casinos will aim to welcome to the prospective sportsbooks. But how will this work with a generation so used to doing everything via their mobile phone.

With online sport betting likely to go the same way as it has in other states whereby you have to visit the sportsbook in person to set up an account.

It’s thought players may instead choose to stick betting via offshore betting sites that may carry risks but can be accessed as and when.

Profitable for Massachusetts?

Profitable for Massachusetts?

Despite the numerous and obvious plus points of bringing in regulated sports betting, there’s a genuine concern as to whether the industry will enjoy much success financially. And as we know in any walk of life, money talks.

If the state views the financial rewards of sports betting so small that it doesn’t justify the required investment, then they won’t persist.

This is maybe hard to believe but the profit margins are known to be low in sports wagering compared to what can be made through slots for example. It sounds rather warped to dismiss the idea of making tens of millions but it’s the hundreds of millions of dollars that really begin to make heads turn.

Competition already raring to go

By now, the sports betting wagon was supposed to have rolled into more states than it has done. Yet, when you consider neighbouring states and financial competitors like Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York are pretty much ready to run with their sports betting laws, Massachusetts will be behind the eight ball before the law even takes effect.

Dare we mention the same thorny issues that pop up every time a state even breaths the words online sports betting…

Integrity of sports games

The potential for sports betting to seriously harm the integrity of sports games is a hot topic that refuses to go away and arises every time a state begins to move towards the idea of sports betting. Let’s not forget the US major sports leagues had long opposed any movement and were the driving force behind the 1992 federal law that had prevented the industry from existing.

The infamous ‘Black Sox’ scandal which saw the 1919 baseball World Series fixed and the uncovering of a NBA referee betting on games he had officiated in more modern times, serve as two notable examples as to why the leagues resisted the overtures of sports betting for as long as they did.

Reservations still persist; the silence from the NFL on the subject in particular speaks volumes and remains a huge stumbling block given how powerful the league is. But the hard stance the leagues took just a few years ago, has softened quite significantly.

In truth, they haven’t had much choice.

The explosion in technology means it has never been easier to bet on sports, nor has it ever been so popular.

Those heading the major leagues have come to realise that the legalization of sports betting is, eventually, inevitable so why not try and snap up a slice of a very lucrative pie.

Not only would legalization boost revenue potential, an integrity/royalty fee has been proposed by the leagues as compensation for using their content to profit.

As you can imagine, this just throws up another hurdle to jump over with betting operators and leagues having to negotiate a deal fair for all.

Hard to see NCAA budging

Still on the subject of integrity, the NCAA are likely to remain unmoved on their stance that legalizing sports betting will only prove a negative move for collegiate sports.

Professional athletes are paid lucrative salaries and aren’t as susceptible to the lure of rigging matches.

However, this is not the case for students often having to rely on grants and scholarships.

There would be the option of following New Jersey in forbidding sports betting on high school game sand collegiate events within the state. But it’s yet another issue that needs ironing out, if there weren’t enough already!

Feeding gambling addiction

Feeding gambling addiction

Another general matter to consider is how best to safeguard vulnerable players from the industry such as those with hard gambling problems. As alluded to before, never has it been easier to place a bet. If online sports betting were to be permitted, bettors wouldn’t need to leave the comfort of their sofa. The process would seem so easy, too easy, in fact.

Measures will have to be introduced to prevent customers from betting beyond their means and risking financial ruin.

Finding the right balance to protect vulnerable bettors, whilst still allowing for the flexibility needed to make sports betting appeal to the masses, could prove troublesome.

Expansion of Gambling could harm the state Lottery, and the state?

Massachusetts has a state lottery which generated just under $1 billion this year. Residents are by far the biggest spenders on lottery tickets anywhere in the states. An average of $763 per capita is in stark contrast to $220, the average amount an American spends a year on lottery tickets.

It’s feared the revenue generated through the lottery will be at risk with the arrival of sports betting, which will become the dominant force of the gambling industry. Perhaps important to note here is 100% of the proceeds made from ticket sales is fed directly back into the state. As we’ve alluded to, this wouldn’t be the case with sports betting.

The state would feature low on the list of those to benefit, behind the major sports leagues/teams and the casinos themselves.

Talk of sports betting has prompted the pushing of a new bill which would see the lottery go online, reducing the chance of it being pushed to the side when the gambling industry is eventually expanded to allow sports betting.

As indicated, a lot stands in the way of Massachusetts’ attempts to legalise sports betting, not least themselves. In the background though, the process is being looked at and the prominence of the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry and the weight now being thrown by the its operators, may prove significant in the debate.

The Major Sports Teams of Massachusetts

Whenever, sports betting is eventually passed in MA, you can bet your bottom dollar that punters will be wagering on one of their favourite teams in the state.

The Boston Celtics compete in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

Founded in 1946, The Celtics happen to be one of the original eight NBA teams to exist, with their nickname owing to the large Irish contingent present in Boston.

You’ll find the Boston Bruins also in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, but this, time the NHL. The team is America’s oldest hockey side having existed since 1924. They call ‘The Garden’ home, as do The Celtics.

Boston Red Sox is one of America’s finest sporting institutions with a tradition of winning countless titles and a following just as strong.

They feature in the East Division of Major League Baseball’s AL League and are the most recent winners of the World Series after defeating national League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Based in the greater Boston region of MA, New England Patriots compete in the National Football League. The Pats, in the East division of the AFC, have appeared in the SuperBowl on ten occasions, the most of any team. One of America’s distinguished sporting icons, quarterback Tom Brady, can be found leading his side to victory at their home ground, the Gillette stadium.