Massachusetts has yet to legalize sports betting in the state, but there is hope in 2022. Massachusetts residents will have to wait to place a bet from the Bay State. Currently, people in Massachusetts will have to cross state borders to place a bet. Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and New York have all legalized sports betting.
Where Can Massachusetts Sports Fans Bet Now?
Rhode Island offers sports betting at Bally’s Twin River Casino in Lincoln as well as through the Rhode Island sportsbook app. In Connecticut, bettors can place bets at the sportsbooks located at Mohegan and Foxwoods Casinos as well as through the DraftKings, FanDuel, and SugarHouse sportsbook apps.
New Hampshire partnered with DraftKings for their sports betting. Bettors can use the DraftKings sportsbook app or visit one of the partnered sportsbooks. New York also has online and retail sportsbooks for bettors to choose from. You must be within those state borders to use the state specific mobile betting apps.
Betting On Boston Sports Teams
With the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts, Bay State residents will have the option of betting on Boston sports teams at retail sportsbooks or from their phones from anywhere in the state. This includes wagers on the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Revolution.
In 2019, Rhode Island had the only legal sportsbook in New England. For Super Bowl LIII, the Rhode Island Sportsbook took in over 50,000 bets for the Super Bowl with 77% of those bets being placed on the Patriots point spread vs the Los Angeles Rams. Boston sports fans love their teams and would place bets on them if given greater accessibility.
Some Boston sports fans may not have the ability or time to cross into neighboring states in order to place bets. Currently, Massachusetts residents would need to travel to New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, or Rhode Island to place bets on Boston sports teams. This can become tedious for bettors who place multiple wagers during the week.
Massachusetts passing a sports betting bill would allow MA residents to place bets from their phones once mobile sportsbooks obtain gaming licenses. Sports betting would become convenient for Boston sports fans instead of a hassle. Residents could place bets without leaving their homes. And, the state could reap the benefits of increased tax revenue.
Boston sports fans would have a greater rooting interest with placing their own money on the game. This could make the games more entertaining especially when the game turns into a lopsided contest. Boston sports fans may also have better knowledge of their local teams which will make them more informed bettors.
Potential Massachusetts Sportsbooks
When Massachusetts legalizes sports betting, bettors will likely have the option of placing wagers at retail sportsbooks as well as online. It is likely that Massachusetts sports betting apps will need to partner with local casinos to operate in the state.
Massachusetts has three casinos operating within the state. They include Plainridge Park Casino, Encore Boston Harbor, and MGM Springfield. Retail sportsbooks could open at each of them. It’s also possible that sports stadiums like Fenwey could also open retail sportsbook locations.
Popular sports betting apps like BetMGM and WynnBet could operate in the state because they operate local casinos. For example, MGM owns both BetMGM and the MGM Springfield. Wynn Resorts owns by the WynnBET app and Encore in Boston Harbor.
Mobile sportsbooks, though, will likely need to operate in partnership with a local casino or sports team. They could partner with the Sox or Patriots. We anticipate big-name brands including DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston, to be available to bettors. Other mobile sportsbooks such as Caesars, FanDuel, and BetRivers could also apply for licenses.
College Sports Betting
One of the major holdups on a sports betting bill passing the House and Senate comes from the debate about betting on college sports. As it currently stands, the Senate seems hesitant to allow betting on college sports. When a bill passes the House and Senate, betting on college sports may not be allowed in Massachusetts. This means bettors would not have the option to place wagers on any college sport which includes football and basketball. This would leave big events like March Madness and college football bowl season off the table for betting.
If Massachusetts does not approve college sports betting in a sports betting bill, then Massachusetts residents will need to cross state borders to bet on college sports. RI, NH, CT, and NY all allow betting on college sports with some restrictions. NH, NY, and CT do not allow betting on in-state teams. Bettors will still have the option to place wagers on any out-of-state college teams.
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