Legal sports betting has not yet been approved in the Bay State, but that could soon change.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, allowing each state in the country to propose and create their 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. The latest 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 the latest sports betting bill is still active; should it pass, it would regulate online and mobile sports betting.
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.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
At this time, Massachusetts does not currently have legalized sports betting in their state. However, a bill to allow in-person and online sports betting is being heard in the current legislative session.
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.