Legal sports betting has not yet been approved in the Bay State, but that could soon change.
The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Committee approved a sports betting bill on April 22, 2022. This state Senate approved the same bill on April 28, however there are many differences from a 2021 House approved sports betting bill that would need to be settled before sports betting is legalized.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, allowing each state in the country to propose and create its own laws and regulations for sports betting.
Before PASPA was overturned, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was busy providing various studies on the potential for legalized sports betting. Having already approved daily fantasy games, several bills in favor of regulating sports betting were introduced in 2018, 2019, and 2020, yet all failed to advance.
Governor Charlie Baker included sports betting as part of his budget proposal in January 2021 – his budget assumes about $35 million in state revenue from sports wagers. Additional legislation was put forward in February 2021 by Senator Adam Gomez and Representative Orlando Ramos. Bill SD 2247 and an identical House bill would allow sports betting at bars and restaurants in addition to licensed casinos and online operators.
If Massachusetts does legalize sports betting in the near future, it has the support of three Vegas-style casinos thanks to The Expanded Gaming Act in 2011. The full-service casinos are located in Springfield, Everett, and Plainville.
For the time being, if sports bettors in Massachusetts want to legally gamble on sports, neighboring states New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York all have various forms of legal sports betting.
When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legal in Massachusetts?
There’s reason to believe that sports betting could be legalized in Massachusetts soon.
While previously proposed bills didn’t gain traction, Governor Charlie Baker is in favor of legalization and there are several active sports betting bills being debated in the state legislature. These would regulate online and mobile sports betting should they pass.
The Governor has been quoted as saying that sports betting, “is going to be a thing pretty much everywhere, and our view was ‘we should get on with the show.’”
Given the positive sentiment towards legalization and the major sports teams in Massachusetts, the question is simply “when” not “if” Bay Staters will be allowed to legally bet on sports. For now, sports bettors in the state will have to participate in New York sports betting or other nearby alternatives.
On August 1, 2022, a six-member conference committee finally agreed to approve Massachusetts sports betting in the state after weeks of meetings on the matter. This will open the door for sports betting apps and sites like Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and more to join the market.
Massachusetts sports betting bill details:
👉15% retail sports betting tax
👉20% online sports betting tax
👉Collegiate sports betting allowed on all non-Massachusetts colleges.
👉Casinos/racetracks receive sports betting licenses
👉7 online sports betting licenses available
— RLinnehanXL (@RLinnehanXl) August 1, 2022
While there’s no official details on a launch date yet, it is expected that Massachusetts could launch sometime during the 2022-23 NFL season. Keep it locked to this page for more updates as they come.
Latest MA Sports Betting News
We’re following all of the latest news to keep you updated as sports betting evolves in the Bay State.
- September 12, 2022: Commissioners are preaching patience for a Massachusetts sports betting launch, saying a go-live date is still several months away. Additionally, a sports betting study from Dr. Rachel Volberg of UMass Donahue Institute suggests the state should consider a ban on celebrity endorsements and in-game wagering to help counteract problem gambling.
- August 11, 2022: Gov. Charlie Baker has officially signed the Massachusetts sports betting bill into law. “Our administration first filed legislation to legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth several years ago, and I am glad to be able to sign this bill into law today. We appreciate the dedication and compromise that the legislature demonstrated on this issue, and we look forward to supporting the work of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on the responsible implementation of the law over the next several months,” Gov. Baker commented.
- August 5, 2022: After passing a bill to legalize Massachusetts sports betting, the state is still likely several months out from launching wagering. Massachusetts Gaming Commission Commissioner Brad Hill commented he wants the public to realize “This isn’t something that will happen overnight…the public needs to understand it’s quite a process we need to go through.” While it won’t be ready for the kickoff of the NFL season, Massachusetts sports betting could be up and running for Super Bowl 57 on February 12, 2023.
- August 1, 2022: A Massachusetts sports betting bill deal has been reached that will open the doors for legal online and retail sports betting in the state. While no official launch date has been announced yet, it is possible that it could happen sometime during the 2022-23 NFL season.
- July 8, 2022: House Rep. Jerry Parisella commented that he is hopeful a Massachusetts sports betting bill will be approved before the legislative session concludes on July 31. State legislators are still working towards a compromise on two separate sports betting bills, and if a deal is reached, Massachusetts sports betting could launch as early as February 2023.
- June 8, 2022: A conference committee of state lawmakers will meet on Thursday, June 9 to start working on a Massachusetts sports betting compromise. The House will be represented by Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-3rd Suffolk), Rep. David Muradian (R-9th Worcester), and Rep. Jerald Parisella (D-6th Essex). The Senate will be represented by Eric P. Lesser (D-1st Hampden and Hampshire), Patrick O’Connor (R-Plymouth and Norfolk), and Michael Rodrigues (D-1st Bristol and Plymouth).
- June 6, 2022: With the Boston Celtics reaching the 2022 NBA Finals, Gov. Charlie Baker touted the team’s Game 1 win as an example of why Massachusetts sports betting should be legalized as soon as possible. The House and Senate are still far apart on two approved sports betting bills, and the two governing bodies must come to a compromise before wagering is legalized in the Old Colony State.
- April 28, 2022: The state Senate has approved a bill to legalize Massachusetts sports betting, however, it has major differences from a 2021 House approved bill. The approved Senate bill does not include college sports betting, while the House version does, and this is just one point of conflict that must be resolved before Massachusetts sports betting is fully legalized.
- April 22, 2022: The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Committee approved a MA sports betting bill, which moved the bill to the Senate for a hearing on April 28, 2022. There is some conflict with this legislation, however, as a House approved bill from 2021 has numerous differences. The discrepancies would need to be sorted out before Massachusetts can legalize sports betting.
- December 29, 2021: In an interview with WCVB’s “On the Record,” Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg supported the legalization of online sports betting, provided it doesn’t negatively affect the state lottery. A sports betting bill has been sitting with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means since it was approved by the House in July.
- August 2, 2021: Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka confirms the state’s sports betting bill will not be considered in the summer session. A debate is expected this fall.
- July 22, 2021: The Massachusetts House passes a sports betting bill. It is sent to the Senate for consideration.
- June 17, 2021: Massachusetts lawmakers heard more than five hours of testimony on legalized sports betting. According to NBC Boston, supporters of sports wagering may have disagreed on some specifics but were much more vocal than those in outright opposition.
- June 9, 2021: The Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies announces it will be holding a virtual hearing on June 17, 2021, where several current sports betting bills will be discussed, including the Governor’s H. 70.
- January 15, 2021: Governor Charlie Baker includes sports betting in his budget proposal, signaling his intent on pursuing legalization in 2021.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQs
Looking to get the lowdown on Massachusetts sports betting? Check out our FAQs below to find out what you need to know.
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
At this time, Massachusetts does not currently have legalized sports betting in their state. However, a sports betting bill has been passed and legal online and retail sports betting in the state is expected to launch sometime during the 2022-23 NFL season.
Are daily fantasy sports legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, Massachusetts residents are allowed to play on most major daily fantasy sites.
How many professional sports teams are in New England?
There are five major pro sports teams in Massachusetts: New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, and New England Revolution.
What sportsbooks will be active in Massachusetts?
Once sports betting officially launches in the state, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and others are expected to join the market.