The state of Massachusetts has had quite a couple of hurdles to jump over when it comes to the legality of sports betting. As it stands, sports betting still falls within the illegal category. However, this might change in the coming year. With this article, we will be providing you with all the information you need to get a full grasp of what the legalities of sports betting are like in Massachusetts.
The Current Legal State of Sports Betting
Regrettably, sports betting is still illegal in Massachusetts, and it doesn’t look like it will be legalized until at least 2023. However, a measure to allow online and in-person sports betting in Massachusetts is presently making its way through the legislature. Massachusetts has just legalized sports betting in the House of Representatives, allowing bets on pro sports, eSports, and collegiate sports. In spite of this regulation, betting on individual college athletes is still prohibited.
The Laws on Land-Based Betting
Despite the fact that Massachusetts might soon allow the creation of many sports gambling sites, the state is very strict when it comes to land-based enterprises. Land-based casinos can now function within Massachusetts state borders according to the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011. However, this does have its limitations. For the time being, the number is limited to three casinos and one slot parlor due to the law’s restrictions on the number of businesses allowed to operate. It’s worth noting that none of these businesses presently provide sports betting or have Massachusetts sportsbooks.
There are also proposals for two Native American tribes to establish their own casinos.
What about Online Sports Betting?
Online sportsbooks are not permitted in the state of Massachusetts because of the state’s prohibition on sports betting. People who wish to partake in online sports wagering in Massachusetts, however, have a few alternatives. First, MA citizens may take a quick road trip to New Hampshire and place their bets from this state.
If residents of MA are not willing to go on a long distance road trip, there is another option available. Given that there aren’t any online sportsbooks available within Massachusetts, offshore sportsbooks are a viable option for enthusiastic bettors to get their betting fix in.
Regulations that would enable online betting to operate without the necessity for a brick-and-mortar facility are now in the works. If enacted, this would be unique to the limitations given by other areas in the US where online sports betting is now authorized.
What is Offshore Sports Betting?
As our reliable intel informs us, there are several online sports betting providers for MA residents headquartered outside of the United States that provide online sports wagering in Massachusetts. Due to where they are located, these sites are practically lawful to use under U.S. state and federal betting rules. Even though these sites are not regulated, there is no protection for bettors. As a result, we recommend that you only place bets on the most trustworthy offshore sportsbooks when placing bets on your favorite teams in MA.
Can You Bet on Horse Racing in MA?
While regulated sports gambling in Massachusetts is still underway, citizens may place bets on horse races instead. Given that horse racing has been authorized in the state for decades, there is even a racecourse you can attend while you’re residing within Massachusetts. The racebooks operated by big-time companies allow bettors to place wagers on horse races in person. In addition, gamblers in Massachusetts can wager on the races via online sports betting.
What does Massachusetts’ Sports Betting Legality Timeline Look Like?
New steps toward legalizing sports wagering and the establishment of in-person Massachusetts sportsbooks have been made recently in Massachusetts. The historical timeline is relatively recent, with the first motion being made in 2016 as Daily fantasy sports were temporarily legalized in Massachusetts on August 10th.
This was later followed by the permanent legalization of daily fantasy sports on April 27th, 2018. This was quite a stand-out moment for Massachusetts, as they were the first state to legalize this sport.
As of May 2018, PASP (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection) was repealed by the United States Supreme Court. This repeal stated that individual states now had the authority to allow sports wagering.
Legislators and the Governor of Massachusetts proposed three competing legislation to authorize sports betting on January 17th, 2019. Unfortunately, no legislation was approved during this legislative session. A second attempt was made on February 2nd, 2021, as four competing measures to authorize sports betting were filed by legislators and the Governor.
Later that year, on July 21st, 2021, the MA sports betting bill, which advocated for the legalization of sports betting, was submitted. In July 2021, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a vote to legalize sports betting.
What’s in the Cards for Massachusetts Sports Betting?
On April 28th, 2022, the Senate proposal on sports betting differed considerably from the bill enacted by the House in the last legislative session. Tax rates, college betting, and other major concerns have not been resolved this year, and it is up to the Senate and the House to join forces to tackle these issues.
Following this, on May 10th, 2022, measures to authorize sports betting in Massachusetts are now being reconciled between the House and Senate, and companies are already trying to get on board with this possible turn of events.