Massachusetts Sports Betting

Last updated: Mar 21, 2024

Even though Massachusetts only has a population of just over seven million, it is home to the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Red Sox, and more of America’s most successful major league teams. As state lawmakers have legalized both online and retail sports betting, MA passionate sports fans can now wager on all their favorite sports.

With betting in MA signed into law in July 2022, it was only a matter of time before online and retail sportsbooks were allowed to operate in the Bay State. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was satisfied by January 31st, 2023 that they had prepared a safe sports betting industry, and as a result launched retail sports betting, in time for the Super Bowl in February.

Then, on March 10, 2023, online sports betting launched, which meant operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars could launch their websites and mobile betting apps in the Massachusetts sports betting market.

Sports betting rules in Massachusetts are very similar to other states, with fifteen online sports betting licenses available and three retail. Six operators have currently secured licensing and have launched in the Bay State, with three more also committed and set to launch later.

Read our expert guide to betting in Massachusetts to learn everything now that the betting market has launched. This includes what sports are available to bet on, current legal gambling options, and the best sports teams in the state.

Legislation Timeline

  • August 10, 2016: Gov. Baker signs a bill that temporarily legalizes Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Massachusetts. This temporary measure is put in place until 31 July, 2018 for lawmakers to consider any amendments required for permanent legislation around DFS. 
  • April 27, 2018: The temporary legislation regarding DFS is amended, permanently legalizing DFS games in Massachusetts. 
  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overrules the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This allows each state in the US to legalize sports betting.
  • 2019: Several sports betting bills were proposed in the 2019 legislative session, but none gained any traction.
  • 2020: In 2020, lawmakers submitted several sports betting bills to Massachusetts lawmakers, but none passed due to conflicting bills. 
  • January 2021: 20 separate sports betting bills are submitted to the Legislature.
  • July 2021: Lawmakers combine many of the 20 sports betting bills into HB 3977/3993. This passes the House by a 156-3-1 vote and includes online sports betting. 
  • April 28, 2022: After months of inactivity, the Senate passes an edited version of HB 3993. This includes prohibiting all betting on college sports and changing the tax rates. 
  • May 17, 2022: The House rejects the Senate’s amendments to HB 3993.
  • July 2022: Gov. Baker makes a public plea for the House and Senate to reach an agreement on HB 3993. 
  • July 31, 2022: HB 5164, an updated version of HB 3993, passes the Senate by 36-4 and the House by 151-2.  Against all odds, H5164 (updated from H3993) is passed by a vote of 36-4 in the Senate and 151-2 in the House. The House and the Senate compromised with a flat 20% tax rate for online sports betting and a 15% tax rate for retail sports betting. Collegiate betting is allowed, but betting on in-state collegiate teams is prohibited unless they are competing in a postseason tournament. 
  • October 2022: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirms that sports betting in Massachusetts will not launch until early 2023 at the earliest. Suggested timelines for launch are January for retail sports betting and February for online sports betting. 
  • January 20th, 2023: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirms January 31st, 2023 will be the launch date for retail sports betting, meaning bets could be placed in time for the 2023 Super Bowl.
  • January 31st, 2023: MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, and Plainridge Park - began accepting on-site sports wagers at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31.
  • March 10th, 2023: Online sports betting was launched in the Bay State, with six sportsbooks launching their online product in Massachusetts. The six sportsbooks currently live in Massachusetts are, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook. Fanatics and Bally Bet are set to launch in May 2023, whilst Betway will go live in the first quarter of 2024.

Popular Sports to Bet on in MA

NFL Betting in Massachusetts

American football is the most popular sport to bet on in the US, and now the sports betting market has launched in Massachusetts, betting on the 2023 NFL Season will be available. Considering the NFL’s New England Patriots are based in Massachusetts, the NFL betting market in MA could be huge. However, players will be able to bet on more than just the Patriots. Games featuring all 32 teams will be available with bets like Moneylines, point spreads, and totals. 

You can also find future bets for significant events like teams winning the Super Bowl. The Massachusetts sports betting market launched retail betting in time for Super Bowl LVII in February 2023, but online sports betting is now available in time for Super Bowl LVIII, which will boost the popularity of NFL betting even more. 

NBA Betting in Massachusetts

There are NBA games almost every day during the regular season, which is why it is so popular with bettors across the US. Massachusetts sports bettors are able to bet on the local franchise Boston Celtics, as well as all the other teams in the NBA. Bets like prop bets on players to make three-pointers, blocks, turnovers, and more are available at most sportsbooks in MA. 

MLB Betting in Massachusetts

As with basketball, the MLB offers fans daily sports betting opportunities from April through to October. The Red Sox is one of the most famous teams in the MLB, and fans will find plenty of betting markets and promotions for this team. MLB bettors will love the range of bet types available, including innings-by-innings betting and first-to-totals. 

NHL Betting in Massachusetts

Hockey fans in Massachusetts have grown up with one of the most successful franchises in the NHL and will no doubt want to support the Boston Bruins by betting on the team. Moneylines, points spreads, and total betting are available, as well as less common prop bets. These include first-to-score bets, highest points scorer, and double chance betting, which includes the chance of a tie in regular time. 

NCAA Betting in Massachusetts

Unlike betting on other sports, there will be limitations on betting on college sports in Massachusetts to protect young athletes. This means you won’t be able to bet on in-state teams like the Boston College Eagles or the University of Massachusetts Minutemen. This regulation is used in other states like New Jersey and New York.

However, unlike those states, if a team from Massachusetts reaches the postseason, you will be able to bet on them legally.

Legal Betting in Massachusetts

Legal sports betting is now live in Massachusetts, and sports fans are clearly very excited.

Massachusetts is home to three brick-and-mortar casinos across the state, including one racino at Plainridge Park Casino. The other two locations, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor provide a complete casino experience with slots, table games, and more. 

These three casinos hold a retail sportsbook license, with MGM Springfield hosting a BetMGM sportsbook. Encore Boston Harbor is owned by Wynn Resorts, which operates WynnBET, whose sportsbook is on-site.

Plainridge Park has a Barstool Sportsbook retail shop on site.

Horse racing betting is legal in Massachusetts, and live harness racing is available to watch at Plainridge Park. Plainridge also offers simulcast wagering on horse racing around the globe, as do Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs. However, Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs do not operate live racing meets. You can also bet on horse racing online with brands like TVG and Twinspires in MA. All horse racing betting has a minimum betting age of 18, and you must wager at a licensed location or site. 

DFS games are legal in Massachusetts, and the state is the birthplace of one of the biggest DFS operators in the US, DraftKings. State lawmakers temporarily legalized DFS games in the state in 2016, then permanently legalized these games in 2018. This means you can use platforms like JockMKT anywhere in the state. 

Legal Sports Betting in Bordering States

Five states border Massachusetts, and four of these offer legal sports betting. You can travel across these borders and place bets in states where it is legal, giving MA bettors plenty of online and retail sports betting options. 

New York

Retail sports betting was legalized in New York in 2019, with the state launching online sports betting in January 2022. Since online sports betting launched, the state has claimed the largest month-by-month betting handle of any US state, taking the crown from New Jersey and Nevada. 

The state has nine online sportsbooks, including brands like BetMGM, BetRivers, and Caesars Sportsbook. You can also find retail sportsbooks at land-based casinos like Del Lago Resort Casino, Resorts World Catskills, and Akwesasne Mohawk Casino & Resort. 


Connecticut legalized sports betting in 2021, with retail and online sports betting launching in October 2021. The state has a maximum of three online sportsbooks, with two regulated by the state’s local Native American tribes and one by the Connecticut Lottery. 

DraftKings is available and partnered with the Mashantucket Tribe, operating a retail sportsbook at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Meanwhile, FanDuel is partnered with the Mohegan Tribe to offer its online sportsbook anywhere in the state. It also runs a retail sportsbook you can find at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

The final brand is PlaySuagrHouse, which is operated by Rush Street Interaction, which also runs BetRivers. The sportsbook is available anywhere in Connecticut, and is opening a retail sportsbook at the Arooga Grille House & Sports Bar. 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island was one of the first states to legalize sports betting after the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018. Initially, sports betting was limited to two retail sportsbooks located within Twin River casinos, which opened in 2018. However, lawmakers passed emergency legislation to bring online sports betting to the state in September 2019. All sportsbooks in the state are operated by Sportsbook Rhode Island, which uses technology from William Hill. Caesars now own William Hill in the US. 

New Hampshire

Online sports betting launched in New Hampshire in December 2019, with retail sports betting following in August 2020. DraftKings enjoy a sports betting monopoly in New Hampshire in exchange for a 50% tax charge on retail sports betting and 51% on online sports betting. DraftKings mobile app is available state-wide, and three casinos offer a DraftKings retail sportsbook.

Massachusetts Sports Teams

Massachusetts sports fans are some of the most fortunate in the US, having a long-standing, successful sports franchise playing in each major league. The sports teams' quality and passion shown by Massachusetts sports fans make the state one of the sporting hot spots in America. 

Now online sports betting has launched, there are many great options for bettors in the state. Check out some of the local teams you will be able to bet on below.

New England Patriots

Since winning its first-ever Super Bowl in 2001, no sports franchise in the major leagues has been as successful as the NFL’s New England Patriots. The era of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady brought unparalleled success, winning six Super Bowl titles and nine conference championships, including that first success in 2001. 

This was a stark change to the first 30 years of the Patriots’ history, which was largely unsuccessful despite a couple of Super Bowl appearances. The Patriots host home games at the intimidating and often weather-affected Gillette Stadium.

Boston Celtics logo
Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are one of the most famous sports teams in the US thanks to winning 17 NBA Championships. The only team in the league to match this is the Los Angeles Lakers, which have also won 17 titles. 

The Celtics have been playing in the NBA since the league started in 1946, and fans have seen some of the greatest players of all time take to the court. Bill Russell won 11 NBA Championships with the Celtics between 1957 and 1969, more than any other player in NBA history. He is the only player to have their jersey number retired league-wide. Meanwhile, Larry Bird spearheaded the Celtics in battles with the Lakers throughout the 1980s while winning three NBA Championships.

Boston Red Sox logo
Boston Red Sox

Boston hasn’t been short of successful sports teams, with the Boston Red Sox winning more World Series than any MLB team in the 21st century. While fans have gotten used to regular success, this wasn’t always the case, as many believed in the Curse of Bambino after the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth. Following this sale, the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series for 86 years.

However, the curse was lifted in 2004, and the team won another three World Series. Home games are played at the legendary Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in the MLB.

Boston Bruins logo
Boston Bruins

The final Boston team in the top four US sports leagues is the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Mirroring other franchises in the city, the team has a long and successful history as the oldest US NHL team. The Bruins have won 26 division titles and are tied in fourth place for the most Stanley Cup wins with six. The team plays home games at the 18,000 TD Garden, which the Bruins share with the Celtics.

Massachusetts Sporting Events

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon race in the world and is considered to be one of the six major marathon events globally. The Boston Marathon is the best-attended sporting event in Massachusetts, with over half a million people lining the streets each year. In addition, the Boston Red Sox hosts a morning home game which ends in time for fans to crowd the finish line offering cheers to the successful runners. 

Fenway Bowl

The Fenway Bowl is a bowl game between teams from the AAC, the ACC, or FBS independent Notre Dame. The game was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the first game was held in December 2022. This was the first college football game played at Fenway Park. 

Ivy League Basketball Tournament

The Ivy League Basketball Tournament was established in 2017 and rotates hosts between the eight Ivy League schools. The tournament was held in Harvard’s Lavietes Arena in 2022, the second oldest basketball arena in the US.

Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQs

MA betting is legal and live. Sports betting was legalized in Massachusetts when Governor Charlie Baker signed HB 5164 on August 10, 2022. Sports fans in MA were first allowed to bet at Retail Sportsbooks only, from January 31st, 2023, but online sports betting followed on March 10, 2023.

Yes, betting on horse racing is legal in Massachusetts, with pari-mutuel wagering legalized in 1934. There is one active racetrack in the state, with Plainridge Park hosting harness racing from April to December. You can also visit Plainridge and two former race tracks to place in-person simulcast bets. Online horse racing is also available state-wide.

No, offshore sportsbooks are not legal in Massachusetts. While sports betting has been legalized, you must use betting sites licensed by the state’s regulator, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The Commission will not license or test any offshore sportsbooks, and so you won’t have guarantees of safety or financial security at offshore betting sites.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission governs sports betting in Massachusetts. This agency has been operating in MA for a long time and is already responsible for the oversight of the casinos and racetracks in the state. The Commission will test every sportsbook that has launched in the state to ensure bettors’ safety.

The legal gambling age in Massachusetts is 21, but you can bet on horse racing if you are 18 or older. You will need to provide a photo ID to prove your age before any kind of gambling, including online betting sites and retail locations.

Yes, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts. The state is considered the birthplace of DFS games, as DraftKings was founded in Boston in 2012. MA lawmakers temporarily legalized DFS games in 2016 and made this permanent in 2018. Now, you can use operators like DraftKings and JockMKT anywhere in the state.

Anyone who is over 21 and within the borders of Massachusetts will be able to bet on sports when sportsbooks go live. However, there will be some restrictions on those who can play, including bans on members of sports teams or people who self-exclude from betting.

Yes, you will be able to bet on college sports in Massachusetts. However, there will be some restrictions on which teams will be available, as you can’t bet on in-state college sports teams in the regular season. However, this ban on in-state betting is lifted for teams that reach the postseason.


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