Posted on: March 10, 2023, 10:36h.
Last updated on: March 10, 2023, 03:08h.
Massachusetts online sports betting is officially live. The commonwealth is the 24th state in the US to launch legal, regulated sports wagering on the internet.
Six online sportsbooks began their operations at 10 am EST on Friday. DraftKings headline the initial group, the Boston-based daily fantasy sports turned sports betting firm that’s been seeking to take sports wagers in its home state for nearly five years.
In May 2018, the US Supreme Court said the federal government’s Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which prohibited single-game sports wagering everywhere outside of Nevada, ran afoul of anti-commandeering interpretations of the US Constitution. After PASPA was struck down, states obtained the right to determine their own rules on sports gambling.
Massachusetts lawmakers failed to reach a compromise for years on how to regulate sports gambling. After more than four years of legislative bickering, the Legislature formed a special Sports Betting Conference Committee to settle differences between the state Senate and House.
A sports betting bill was finally approved in July 2022. Then-Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed the statute the following month.
Massachusetts lawmakers agreed to allow sports betting at the state’s three commercial casinos, two horse racetracks, and online.
Along with DraftKings, five other online sportsbooks took their first wagers over the internet this morning in Massachusetts. FanDuel, BetMGM, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook, and Caesars Sportsbook are all available for sports bettors over the age of 21 and physically located inside the state.
Betr, also deemed suitable by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to debut its online sportsbook today, informed the state that it wasn’t ready and will launch before April. BallyBet and Fanatics, which have also gained MGC approval, hope to open their online sportsbooks in Massachusetts later this year.
In-person sports betting at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park began on January 31. Unlike the retail sportsbook openings with fanfare and ceremonial first bets wagered by sports stars, celebrities, and politicians, the online commencement was much more subdued.
Caesars Sportsbook said its first official wager accepted online in Massachusetts was a $15 stake on Alabama A&M University’s men’s basketball game today against Texas Southern. The book’s first parlay, Caesars added, was a $1,000 two-leg men’s college basketball wager on Purdue and Alabama’s moneylines.
Massachusetts is one of the most sports-obsessed states in the country. Home to about seven million people, Massachusetts has the second-highest median household income in the US.
The median household income in Massachusetts last year, according to the US Census Bureau, was about $116K. That trailed only New Jersey at about $118K and DC households at $133,600.
Massachusetts is home to five professional sports teams — the NFL’s New England Patriots, MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NBA’s Boston Celtics, the NHL’s Boston Bruins, and MLS’ New England Revolution.
Massachusetts will take 20% of each online sportsbook’s gross revenue, 5% higher than the tax levied on in-person sportsbooks. The American Gaming Association says almost 90% of the betting action in states where retail and online wagering are permitted is facilitated over the internet.
College wagering is prohibited when a game involves a state-based university. However, sportsbooks are allowed to take action when a state college is participating in a tournament involving a minimum of four teams.
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