Massachusetts Welcomes Online Sports Betting

  • Massachusetts has launched their online and mobile sportsbooks as of 10 a.m. EST. Friday.
  • Six operators have stated they are ready and have begun actively accepting bets, with at least five more preparing to start at a later date.
  • The overwhelming amount of sports betting ads that are being seen in Massachusetts has become a cause for concern for the Gaming Commission and high-ranking officials alike.

BOSTON – The long awaited day has come for Bay Staters to open up their phones and be greeted in by sportsbooks. Available operators include Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET.

A notable development came as a result of the sports betting advertisements that are flooding the state, raising concerns for the Gaming Commission as they are already looking into potentially illegal FanDuel ads.

Regardless, legal Massachusetts sportsbooks are excited for the opening of a new sprawling market with tons of potential bettors waiting to sign up, with experts estimating that as much as 90% of bets placed will be online/mobile.

What Massachusetts Bettors Need to Know

The first thing any prospective bettor needs to know is when and where they can place bets. Anyone over 21 years of age is allowed to place a bet on any operator that they choose to sign up for. In terms of location, anywhere in the state, as well as three miles off the coast, will be allowed to place bets at local books.

Notably, Wampanoag tribal land is the geographical cut off for the online sportsbooks, meaning those living on that tribal land will either need to place bets through their own sportsbook or travel outside of the area.

The catalog of what sports will and will not be allowed has also been released. A few of the outlawed sports include chess, cornhole, Olympic events that feature judges, Esports, Jai Alai, High school and youth sports, and lastly, college teams from Massachusetts.

For the last point, Massachusetts college teams during the regular season will not be allowed to have wagers placed on them, but when playing in tournaments involving four or more teams, such as March Madness, all bets are fair game.

Still, most of these are available by using legal online sportsbooks.

All other professional sports like the NHL, NBA, NFL, etc. are of course allowed in addition to more niche sports from the rest of the world. Certain non-sporting events, such as entertainment awards like the Oscars or food-eating competitions will also be allowed.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission is on High Alert

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission have had their hands full in the last couple months since retail betting and now online betting have become legal. First Massachusetts casinos broke the law and now concerns around illegal ads from companies like FanDuel that are promising “free bets” have popped up.

Reportedly, three ads were violating the law because of referencing iGaming, another offering “free bets”, and the last of which states to use prepaid or credit cards to deposit. All three of these are considered illegal per the regulations set by the MGC, likely leading to an investigation and subsequent fines or punishments.

There is also growing concern about where these ads are placed, with Attorney General Andrea Campbell pushing for increased amounts of regulations that will protect younger audiences, who are more likely to develop gambling problems as a result of these ads.

While much work is left to be done by the Gaming Commission, legal betting sites and bettors alike can finally celebrate the momentous occasion of full sports betting legalization in the Commonwealth, opening up countless opportunities for the industry as it continues to sweep the nation.

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