A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Massachusetts

Massachusetts had been fairly quiet about gambling for almost three centuries. This state has a recent gambling tradition, with the oldest legal developments starting in 1934, as pari-mutuel betting on horse races was legalized. Later, simulcasts would be introduced as well. The gambling front staid quiet for almost 40 years, as in 1971, Massachusetts legalized lottery and started selling tickets the very next year.

Another four decades passed before the state moved on the issue. In the meanwhile, casino ships sailed out of the Massachusetts harbors for federal waters, where they could offer casino gaming in peace. This practice ended in 2013. In 2007, casino expansion bills created chaos among the legislature, as everyone was pushing for or against. In the end, the governor refused to sign the bill, which passed in the state Senate. However, in 2011 the first bill did pass and three casinos as well as one slots parlor were legalized. In 2013, two casinos received licenses to build on Massachusetts territory and by 2019, there are two full-blooded casinos, one racino, one racetrack which will close in 2019, one simulcast betting office and two planned tribal casinos that have not yet been built.

Also, Massachusetts considers daily fantasy sports to be legal, as their State Attorney General declared that while legal, they have to be regulated. DraftKings is located in Massachusetts and the state wants to protect both the players and the company by regulating daily fantasy sports. Online casinos and any other type of online gambling are still unregulated in Massachusetts but there is some hope for change on that front, as the ball is rolling on the brick-and-mortar casinos and Massachusetts may find itself losing out on the profits shared by its more open neighbors.

Massachusetts Gambling Overview:

  • Year Massachusetts regulated offline and online gambling: 2012 for casinos, online gambling remains unregulated.
  • Massachusetts gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for bingo, lottery and racing.
  • Legal online casino games in Massachusetts: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 3 (2 more planned)
  • Number of tribal casinos: 0 (2 planned)
  • Top online casinos Massachusetts-wide: N/A

Gambling in Massachusetts: What’s Legal?

Massachusetts offers a number of options when it comes to gambling. Their new casino laws allow for new casinos to be built, resulting in the planning for two commercial and two new tribal casinos, of which one has already begun construction. The state had legal greyhound racing up until 2010, when it banned the practice. Online gambling and sports betting are illegal, but the state is very relaxed on everything else.

You can bet off-track on any of the horse races through simulcast betting, you can play at the live casinos at real gambling tables, you can enjoy any amount of social gambling as long as nobody is profiting from hosting or raking the pot, and finally you can enjoy a number of lottery and bingo games. Pull-tabs, raffles, keno and bingo are legal for charitable organizations while lottery tickets are freely being sold all over the state. The state’s smoking laws dictate that no indoor businesses shall allow smoking, but when the new tribal casinos are built, this may not apply to them.

Try these casinos in Massachusetts:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
MGM Springfield 8 Canal Street, New Orleans 24/7 2500 slots, table games Business casual +1 413-273-5000 www.mgmspringfield.com/en.html
Plainridge Park Casino 301 Washington St, Plainville, MA 24/7 1250 slots, table games N/A +1 508-576-4500 www.plainridgeparkcasino.com

Online Casinos in Massachusetts: What You Should Know

Online casinos are not specifically illegal in Massachusetts, so the state has not pursued anyone for online gambling yet. They are more interested in online casino management in Massachusetts, and will likely move to legalize both owning and playing at online gambling websites under tribal pressure.

Are Massachusetts Online Casinos Legal for Non-Massachusetts Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do Massachusetts online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Massachusetts if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Massachusetts?

  • Since the state is in a gray area, yes they do.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Massachusetts

Massachusetts isn’t the best place to be when it comes to online casinos, but since the activity has been neither criminalized nor decriminalized, you may choose any casino you want or travel to a state that explicitly allows them (such as the nearby Delaware) – your call!

The Bottom Line on Massachusetts Online Gambling

Massachusetts hasn’t progressed beyond talking about online gambling, but expect that to change in the very near future as they are already lagging behind. The Bay State has pushed for land-based casinos which haven’t brought in as much revenue as expected, but it may see salvation in online gambling just yet.