Sports betting is legal in Massachusetts. Retail and mobile betting are available. Eight online and four retail sportsbooks in the state.
Massachusetts sports bettors must be at least 21 years old for online and retail play. Mobile bettors are located using mobile and wireless technology. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulates sports betting in the state.
Massachusetts regulators have a reputation for being strict when it comes to mobile betting. Learn more in this Massachusetts sportsbook review.
Current Breakdown of Sportsbooks Operating in Massachusetts
The grand opening of Massachusetts sportsbooks occurred on January 31, 2023. It happened at Encore Boston Harbor. Its WynnBet retail sportsbook was the first of its kind in the state. On March 10, 2023, online sports betting apps went live, just in time for March Madness.
Available Sports for Wagering in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts sports betting menu is like the ones found in Nevada. All major sports are on the board. This includes auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, football, golf, hockey, mixed martial arts, rugby, and soccer.
Many professional sports leagues are on the Massachusetts betting menu, including MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, WNBA, PGA, NASCAR, and UFC. Boston teams are extremely popular betting options in the state. This includes the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, and Boston Bruins.
NCAA games are on the board in Massachusetts. However, in-state college betting is not permitted, except for when the team is involved in a tournament with four or more teams. Examples of this include March Madness, NIT, College World Series, and the Frozen Four.
Types of Sports Bets Available
There is a large variety of sports betting types offered by Massachusetts sportsbooks. Bettors looking for low variance and lottery-style wagers will find their favorite action. The options include:
- Point Spread
- Totals (over/under)
A moneyline bet picks an outright winner. Point spreads do not apply. The favorite requires laying money. The underdog wins more than the bet. For example, a -150 favorite requires laying $1.50 for every $1 the bettor hopes to win. The underdog here is +130, which means for every $1 wagered, $1.30 is paid if the team wins. Some sportsbooks have dime lines on baseball, meaning the base is -105 on both sides. If the game ends in a tie or is canceled, both sides push.
Point spreads make both sides even or close to it in basketball and football. If a team is -3, that team must win by four to cover the spread. If they win by one or two or the other team wins, that favorite loses against the spread. Some spreads include half points. If the game lands on the favorite winning by three in the above example, it pushes. Bets return to players.
Point spreads usually require a -110 lay on both sides. It may vary some, especially around key numbers like 3 and 7 in football.
Totals are a bet on the number of points scored in the game. The bet is either over or under. Like point spreads, these bets can be half points. If the total points scored in the game equals the total, it is a push.
Totals may be for an entire game or part of it. In football and basketball, it can also be a half or quarter. For baseball, it can be for the first five innings. In hockey, it can be by period.
Ways to Bet on Moneylines, Point Spreads, and Totals
There are many ways to bet on moneylines, point spreads, and totals. Here are some:
- Straight bets
- Parlays, including same game
- Live betting
Straight bets are the simplest way to get action at a sportsbook. It is a ticket with one outcome on it. It either wins, loses, or pushes, based on one event.
Parlays combine two or more outcomes with large payouts when all the legs win. Online sportsbooks push same game parlays. These tend to have terrible odds not that standard parlays are great. Parlays may be any combination of point spreads, totals, and moneylines.
Teasers are like parlays, but with lower variance. Teasers are available in football and basketball. In football, teasers are available in 6, 6.5, and 7 points. A few online sportsbooks have 14-point football teasers. In basketball, teasers are usually 4, 4.5, and 5 points. Bettors get to add these points to the posted spreads to their benefit, making it more likely to hit. Teasers win more often than parlays. However, the payouts are less.
Pleasers are reverse teasers. Bettors give points sway to their disadvantage. These also come in 6, 6.5, and 7-point forms. The payouts are massive when hitting pleasers because it is difficult to win after moving a point spread a touchdown worse than the posted line.
Futures predict a winner of a league, conference, division, or individual sports with a large field, like golf or NASCAR. Live betting means getting action on point spreads, totals, and moneylines after a game starts. Microbetting is a form of live betting that involves predicting the next play or score.
Sportsbooks Operating in Massachusetts
There are retail sportsbooks at Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park, Raynham Park, and MGM Springfield. Encore Boston Harbor has a WynnBet sportsbook. ESPN Bet is at Plainridge Park. Caesars Sportsbook is at Raynham Park. BetMGM operates out of MGM Springfield.
Sportsbook Bonus Offers
All eight Massachusetts online sportsbooks offer new player bonuses. Here are all the details as of November 2023. None of these bonuses may be withdrawn. Only winnings are available. The bonus leaves a player’s account once the wager is placed or the expiration date hits.
New BetMGM players receive a bonus bet of up to $1500. If the first bet loses, it is replaced with bet credits up to $1500. Credits less than $50 are awarded as one bet. Larger ones are split into five bonuses. Players have seven days to bet the bonus. If the first bet wins, no bonus is awarded.
Caesars also has a $1500 loss rebate. It is like the one offered by BetMGM. However, the bet credit replacing a losing bet must be wagered in one lump sum.
When you make your first bet of $5 or more at DraftKings, you receive $200 in bet credits. These may be wagered in any manner or increment. The bonus credits must be used within seven days.
ESPN Bet replaced the Barstool brand. Players receive $250 in bonus credits when placing any wager. The bonus may be wagered in any increments. Players have seven days to turn it over before it expires.
New accounts receive a $200 bonus credit. It must be wagered in one lump sum within 24 hours.
Massachusetts players receive a bet $5, receive $200 in bonus bets offer. The bonus may be wagered in any amount as long as it is completed within seven days.
WynnBet offers new players a $100 loss rebate. If your first bet loses, you receive up to $100 in credits to replace it. The bonus must be wagered within seven days or it expires.
Betr offers a 100% up to $100 first deposit bonus. The wagering requirement is equal to the deposit. The bonus expires after 30 days.
Online Sportsbook Deposits
There are many ways to make an online sportsbook deposit in Massachusetts. Most players use EFTs. This is an electronic funds transfer from a bank account. Venmo, PayPal, the Play+ Prepaid Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are all available. Some sportsbooks accept PayNearMe and Apple Pay.
The Play+ Prepaid Debit Card is sometimes branded with the sportsbook. Credit card deposits may incur cash advance fees.
Online Sportsbook Withdrawals
EFTs are the fastest way to get your sports betting winnings. Other options include the Play+ Prepaid Debit Card, PayPal, Venmo, and check by mail. Using the Play+ or sportsbook-branded debit card at an ATM comes with a fee from both the ATM owner and Play+.
Massachusetts Gambling History
In 1935, horse racing became the first form of legalized gambling in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Lottery became legal in 1971. Today, it sells tickets to instant games, as well as keno and lotto drawings. The only form of online lottery sales is lotto subscriptions for up to three months. All other lottery tickets must be purchased at a retailer.
Charitable gaming became legal in 1971. Permitted games include raffles, bingo, beano, casino nights, and poker tournaments.
Resort and racetrack casinos were legalized in 2012. It took three years to get them off the ground. Planridge Park opened the first one in 2015. That was the same year daily fantasy sports were legalized.
Online sports betting became legal in 2022. The first retail sportsbook opened in January 2023. Online sportsbooks went live on March 10, 2023.
The minimum age for daily fantasy sports, casinos, and sports betting is 21. It is 18 for the lottery, charitable gaming, and horse racing.
Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQs
What are the legal requirements for Massachusetts Sports betting?
Massachusetts requires sports bettors to be at least 21 years old. Mobile bets must originate within the state.
Is it legal to wager on college sports in Massachusetts?
College sports betting is legal in Massachusetts. In-state colleges may not be on the board unless it is a tournament like March Madness or the College World Series.
Is it legal to bet on horse races in Massachusetts?
Horse racing has been legal in Massachusetts since 1935. Bets are accepted at the racetracks, at off-track betting parlors, and on mobile apps.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports legal in Massachusetts?
Daily fantasy sports contests became legal in Massachusetts in 2015. Players must be at least 18 years old.
Does Massachusetts support responsible gaming?
Some Massachusetts gaming taxes fund responsible gambling services. If you live in Massachusetts and need help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-662-4357.