Massachusetts Online Sports Betting

Massachusetts Sports Gambling Laws

Massachusetts’ visitors-and-residents can play in casinos, buy state and regional-networked lottery tickets, bet on horse-and-dog racing, enjoy charitable gambling, the most-progressive-social-gambling-laws in the country. Tribal Casinos are expected to come onto the Massachusetts gambling scene in 2019, as might sports betting (both online and land-based).

In 2011, Massachusetts State Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act which authorized three casino resorts and one stand-alone slots-facility. The recent expansion of gambling in-the-State looks good for the legalization of online betting as it indicates Massachusetts is starting to develop gambling-friendly attitudes towards most forms of gaming.

Online betting in the state is currently restricted to horse racing and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). However, the future of online casinos, sports betting and poker appears bright in Massachusetts as the state’s gambling growth-phase shows no sign of slowing.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

Massachusetts recent gambling expansion laws sees the state now offering the player’s a diverse gaming mix in DFS, online horse racing, casinos, live racing, live and video poker and charitable gambling.

Sports & Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable Gambling Yes No

Massachusetts Sports Betting Tax Rates

A gambling tax of 25% on all winnings over $5000 is in place in the state of Massachusetts. Smaller wins up to $1200 – $5000 are subject to a 5% state tax, up from the previous threshold of $600.

Larger wins may also incur a Federal Tax. Exact tax rates applicable for larger wins will depend upon your state of residence in the United States, contact your tax attorney if you have had a huge win.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Massachusetts

Massachusetts mirrors the standard minimum legal gambling ages that are present across the mid-Atlantic and the North-East of the United States, i.e. 21 year-of-age for casino gambling and 18 years-of-age for DFS, horse racing, the state lottery and charitable gaming.

Sports & Gambling Type Age
Sports Betting N/A
DFS 18
Casinos 21
Horse Racing 18
Lottery 21
Charitable Gambling 18

Betting on Sports in Massachusetts

Massachusetts sports betting is still not quite a reality. Whilst in MA, DFS has been legislated on, and horse racing betting has been legal for almost 90 years, general sports betting will not come into being in Massachusetts it seems until 2019 at the earliest.

The state is looking to apply its own laws to the freedom offered it by the spring 2018 U.S Supreme Court ruling of giving the control of legal sports betting back to the states.

The legalization of land-based sports betting in Massachusetts appears as if legal options may firstly be introduced for players in the state’s land-based casinos. Legal online sportsbooks and other options may become available at a later date in time in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Online Sports Betting Laws

When online sportsbooks in MA are becoming a reality is in the hands of state legislators. One swift masterstroke may be to include legal online sports betting and package it together with the state’s already existing online horse betting sites, although this pure conjecture. The final decision however, rests with the MA State Legislature.

As mentioned above, in the meantime, DFS and online betting on horse and greyhound racing are both legal ways for the online sports bettor to wager in Massachusetts.

Online Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts

Massachusetts allows legal and regulated Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law legalizing DFS in 2016 (H.4569) and the bill was extended to permanently make DFS legal in 2018.

Massachusetts has a list of regulations in regards to DFS including:

  • Players must be over 21 years of age
  • No contests on college games and other amateur sporting events
  • Truth in advertising standards apply
  • $1,000 monthly deposit limit and;
  • Entries are limited to the lesser of 150 or three percent

Esports Online Betting Laws

In the spring of 2018, Sports Betting got new life in the United States as the highest legal body in the land, the Federal Supreme Court eliminated the 26-year-old law that banned sports betting. Today, all 50 states are free to legislate on their own sports-betting laws.

Given its role as a sport that has developed rather recently (and therefore not touched by the legal quibbling of the past by all the major U.S. sporting leagues), eSports betting may very well lead the sports betting legalization way in Massachusetts just as it has done in other states.

Explaining the rise of ‘eSports’

Blossoming with the dissemination of global technology and increasingly fast internet speeds, eSports has changed quality video game play into full-time professional sports, whereby leading players now sign multi-million-dollar contracts with professional teams.

Team tournament play rather than individual competition is generally how eSports are played at their highest levels. However, champion individual eSports stars can have cult global followings and the contrasting styles of the top eSports athletes are loved and copied by amateur players the world over.

eSports games themselves like Fortnite, Starcraft and Overwatch are equivalent to, say, the NBA, NFL and MLB, with the phrase ‘eSports’ describing the broad overarching concept (like Sports).

eSports betting has become widespread and a big global business. Sportsbooks worldwide offer betting markets on all major eSports tournaments played globally. eSports business revenue grows massively year-on-year, and in 2018-19, the revenue of the industry is expected to reach the $100 billion mark worldwide.

It may be possible that the initial legal sports bet you make in Massachusetts, could possibly be a wager on eSports.

Horse Racing in Massachusetts

For all MA State residents over the age of 18, all off track betting, course/track side and online betting options on Horse Racing are all perfectly legal in the eyes of the law.

Trackside Betting

Massachusetts is home to three live horse racing venues that all accept bets on simulcast horse races and live racing.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Massachusetts

The live racing venues in Massachusetts effectively function as the states’ official OTB agencies, plus one former greyhound racing track. No additional stand-alone OTB facilities exist in the state.

Online Horse Racing in Massachusetts

Online racebooks available in Massachusetts have small initial deposit requirements and all provide the convenience of betting anytime, anywhere on a mobile device or PC. MA residents over the age of 18 all have full legal access to online horse betting sites that offer betting on races throughout the U.S.A and across the world. If you’re unable to find the time, or perhaps can’t physically get to the track or a simulcast facility to bet on big events like the Kentucky Derby, you can still place wagers on the race with an online account and all 100% legally.

Visit our Gambling in Massachusetts page for more information on the states gambling laws



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