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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Is Sports Betting Legal In Massachusetts? Best Legal MA Betting Sites for 2023

Is Sports Betting Legal In Massachusetts? Best Legal MA Betting Sites for 2023

Last Updated on 11/26/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Bettors wondering “is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?” will no doubt be delighted to hear that a hugely important legal decision was made on March 10, 2023.

MA gambling laws were revised significantly on this date, and the new changes have important implications – particularly for anyone interested in sports betting, which is now officially legal. Going forward, MA sports lovers can now legally place mobile sports bets on selected odds in the state. That said, playing at online casinos for real money currently remains against the law.

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Online gambling activities, or at least certain iterations of online gambling activities, are now officially legal in Massachusetts. But what exactly does this mean?

To answer the question of “is sports betting legal in MA?”, on March 10, 2023, online sports betting sites were permitted to launch their services in The Bay State for the very first time. That said, while sports betting is now officially legal in MA, other kinds of online gambling-related activities, such as playing at online casino games for real cash, remain prohibited.

Here’s what you need to know about what gambling activities are (and aren’t) now permitted:

  • Online sports betting
  • Retail and kiosk sports betting
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
  • Massachusetts state lottery
  • Social and sweepstakes casinos
  • Online casino games playable for real cash
  • Online poker games playable for real cash

Let’s review the very latest legal outlook for different kinds of gambling activities in a little more detail, as one or two caveats apply.

Yes, but only to a certain extent. Retail sportsbooks, which enable in-person sports betting, were launched in Massachusetts on January 31, 2023. Mobile sportsbooks, which allow MA residents to place sports bets online via regulated apps and websites, went live a couple of months afterward – on March 10, 2023.

But the new provision doesn’t allow for placing cash wagers on all kinds of sporting events. While NFL, NBA, NHL, baseball, tennis, soccer, and many other mainstream sports are now available for betting, MA residents are still prohibited from putting down cash bets on:

  • Some MA state collegiate sports events
  • Any US high school sports events

If you want to place USD bets at real money online casinos, then the answer is no. Despite the recent move to ensure sports betting is legal in MA, playing at online casino games for real money remains illegal. This applies to betting on slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and live dealer games – but only if such games accept cash wagers.

What is legal, however, is playing at social casinos and sweepstakes casinos instead. For those of you who aren’t already aware, these are casino-inspired gaming platforms that are different from regular online casinos in a few very important ways, such as:

  • USD or fiat currency is not accepted on gameplay of any kind.
  • Gameplay is instead conducted using two kinds of virtual currencies – Gold Coins, which have no cash value and are played for fun only, and Sweeps Coins, which are redeemable for real-world prizes.
  • Gamers are placed under no obligation to make any deposits or purchases, as virtual coins can be acquired for free in many ways.

Those of you who might be disappointed that only sports gambling is legal in Massachusetts and not cash-based casino games ought to check social and sweepstakes casinos out. You’ll find many comparisons and reviews of these increasingly popular casino-style sites across our website.

The latest big legislative news for The Bay State predominantly affects sports bettors, but did you know that other kinds of gambling activities are also legal in MA? On top of sports betting and sweepstakes casinos, citizens can also enjoy:

1. Online horse race betting

Anyone aged 18 or above and based in MA can bet on horse races, both online and in person. Many of the online sportsbooks listed in our comparison on this page offer this particular service.

2. Online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Daily Fantasy Sports or “DFS” were first made available in MA in 2016 under a temporary piece of legislation. More recently, in 2018, frustrated bettors left wondering when sports betting would be legal in Massachusetts on DFS permanently were reassured that DFS had been made accessible for the foreseeable future. Current laws state that all DFS bettors are required to be aged 21 or older.

3. The Massachusetts state lottery

According to Section 29 of the Massachusetts Lottery Law, Mass citizens can play at the Massachusetts state lottery so long as they are aged 18 or over. Prizes over $103,000 need to be claimed online via the official Mass state lotto website, but it’s worth noting that while other states, such as Michigan, allow players to purchase state lottery tickets online, MA is yet to make this kind of service available to lotto fans – meaning you’ll have to purchase your tickets at a kiosk or store.

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What is the Mass sports gambling bill and what future implications might it have?

The Massachusetts sports betting bill is the reason that Bay State citizens are today free to place bets on most sporting events. MA is relatively late joining the party as far as online sportsbook legalization is concerned, following Ohio as the second US state to legalize online betting in 2023.

Up until 2018, sports betting was banned across the entire United States besides Nevada by the Bradley Act (also known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992). When this Act was overturned, individual states began moving toward legalizing gambling in various forms in their respective regions.

A sports betting bill was initially agreed in MA on August 1, 2022, but it would be almost another year before the question of “is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?” would finally be put to bed with an all-important signature from Governor Charlie Baker.

Noteworthy aspects of the bill itself, and MA gambling more generally speaking, include:

  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is now the official regulator for online sports betting in MA – meaning any sites offering online sportsbooks must legally hold an MGC license.
  • The bill ensures both online and retail sports betting are now legal.
  • Up to 15 gambling licenses can now be awarded to MA sports betting operators.

Looking ahead, some commentators are hopeful that real money casino gaming could become regulated in MA soon, though relatively little has been said about this among officials and legislators at the time of writing. So, is online sports betting legal in Massachusetts? Indeed it is – Bay Staters now have several online sportsbooks and sweepstakes casino sites to choose from – which you can check out using our comparison on this page.

Legal gambling

If you place bets on soccer, hockey, basketball, or other betting-legal sports in MA and manage to get your hands on some extra cash, do you have to worry about taxes? In short, the answer is yes – you’ll need to report this to authorities even if you’ve acquired as little as $5.

At the time of writing, ordinary income is taxed at 5% and no set gambling tax rate has been announced since the question of “is sports betting legal in MA?” was finally granted an affirmative answer. That said, funds accumulated in excess of $5,000 will see your sports betting operator required to withhold 24% and issue you with Form W-2G. At this point, you might need to input your tax and ID info onto the operator’s website, too.

Lottery players must also include any funds accumulated via the Mass state lottery in their gross income using Form W-2G, which should be provided to you by the state lottery itself before January 13.

How to use our comparison and reviews to access the best Mass gambling sites

Now that sports betting is legal in Massachusetts, you might be wondering which of the operators to go live in the state so far is the best to get involved with. On this webpage, we’ve put together a useful comparison of the best online betting providers currently on the market.

Every operator we recommend is properly licensed in MA, so you won’t need to worry too much about this side of things. However, you can use our comparisons to compare the following between providers:

Sports market coverage

Our favorite operators all have pretty diverse market coverage, but some sites are better known for offering more favorable odds on certain types of games, so be sure to compare providers to locate the best numbers on the kinds of sports you’re most into.

Welcome promotions and VIP rewards

Since all of a sudden sports betting is now legal in MA, providers are competing fiercely in terms of their sign-up bonuses. Each site is keen to drive eager Bay State bettors to their service offerings, so you’ll see some very generous deals advertised.

Withdrawal and deposit times and fees

The best betting sites will usually accept a combination of major credit cards and popular e-wallets, each of which are likely to offer different processing times and fees. Some sportsbooks will cut you a better deal than others, so check out their T&Cs to compare.

Customer support options

We haven’t stumbled across many sites that offer MA-specific telephone hotlines, but email support services and live chat seem to be services our top-rated sportsbooks for Massachusetts all have in common. Keep your eyes peeled for operators offering 24/7 access.

User-friendliness and special features

Whether you’re looking for a dedicated Massachusetts betting app compatible with a specific device, betting sites that offer you the capability to live-stream games, or some niche parlay tools and betting slip modification options, you can pin these down with ease using our comparison.

The question of “is online betting legal in Massachusetts?” has been answered – and the answer is a weird mix of both yes and no. In short, sports bettors are home free and can now place bets on virtually any national or international sporting event, so long as high school and some collegiate fixtures are avoided. Casino fans, however, might have a long wait on their hands for real money online casino games to get green-lit in the state.

But whatever your tastes, Bay Staters certainly aren’t short of choice when it comes to today’s online gambling options. From online sportsbooks to sweepstakes and social casinos, the possibilities are endless – just be sure to bet only with licensed and trusted sites, and to make the most of TheGruelingTruth.com when making comparisons.

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💰 Where can I bet on sports in Massachusetts?

Sports betting in Massachusetts is now available online, but you can only legally place bets on sporting events with a select few providers. Discover everything you need to know about legal sports betting in MA, including how to find the best betting sites, with TheGruelingTruth.com.

🏈 Which MA sports betting site is best?

With so many huge betting brands and emerging sportsbooks to choose from in MA since the legalization of sports betting, some might not know who’s best to register with. You can use our dedicated reviews and cross-comparisons to find the best betting site to suit you.

⚖️ What is the legal status of sports betting in MA?

Several US states have rolled out legalized online sports betting ever since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018. States spanning from Ohio and West Virginia to New Jersey and Pennsylvania now have legal online betting, but what about Massachusetts? Find out today with our expert guides.

🤔 How old must I be to bet online in Massachusetts?

There are more than 30 US states that now have legal online sports betting, and Massachusetts is one of them – but how old do players need to be before they can legally place bets? Our latest MA betting guides contain all the info you need to get started with betting in The Bay State.

📱 Can I bet using mobile sportsbooks in MA?

Many online betting sites now offer downloadable apps compatible with iOS and Android devices. These fine-tuned applications allow players to place bets, live-stream events and manage their betting slips on the move, but are any currently available in MA? Find out with TheGruelingTruth.com now.

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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

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