Massachusetts Online Gambling presents many opportunities. These include online casinos which have become tremendously popular (the catalyst being most notably the coronavirus of 2020). Many Massachusetts Players are discovering that the convenience and safety overrides the risk of travelling to a Boston (or any other major city) casino.
On the other hand, Massachusetts land based gambling is more restricted than online. It has concentrated casino and slots gaming activity into four designated geographical locations throughout the state – three casinos and one slot venue. As such an oligopoly is held by the four commercially licensed casinos.
Meanwhile sports betting remains illegal, while Daily Fantasy Sports is legal and commercially operated with tax rates yet to be applied.
- Offshore operators continue accept players from Massachusetts
- There are no state regulated online onshore operators.
- Massachusetts State Lottery holds monopoly on lottery products
- Commercial licensed operators awarded for land based casinos and slots facilities
- DraftKings’ HQ is based in Boston
Best 5 Massachusetts Online Casinos
Why go through the hassles of wearing a mask, lining up to have your temperature checked, consistently washing your hands and playing through the confines of plexiglass whilst STILL be at risk of catching COVID-19.
Play online and select from our curated list of recommended Massachusetts Casinos.
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The benefits of playing real money online far exceeds the inconvenience and risk of playing at land based casinos. Playing online offers online casino bonuses which come in the form of real money credited to your bank roll, or in the case of slots – free spins. Many players prefer online casino bonuses than land based comps. Don’t get me wrong, comps are great for those who like to have discounted meals, free beverages and reduce accommodation rates, but the vast majority of players prefer benefits straight into their bank roll.
In our recommended list of Massachusetts online casinos, we have considered their casinos bonuses, their ability to provide safe processing of transactions for deposits and withdrawals, security of player’s information and game variety.
You will find that the top online casinos on our list have extremely competitive bonuses. When selecting an online casino based on their bonus, make sure that the bonus can be applied to your game of choice.
All the best casinos have safe payment methods for players. It is in the interest of quality online casinos to have in place the technology to safeguard player’s deposits and withdrawals. Often, the best casinos WILL NOT promote obscure, new and untried payment methods – which is a GOOD thing! Why risk transacting with an unreliable payment method that may cause heartache for both player and casinos. Only the well known and trusted payment methods are touted and used.
Player information security is highly regarded by the best online casinos. They will use advanced SSL encryption methods to protect the conduit between player browsers (or playing device) and the server of the online casino. You can play with confidence from our selection of casinos, knowing that your information is secure.
Without doubt, at the time of writing, El Royale Casino offers the best casino bonus deal. It is also one of the safest. Coupled with excellent customer service, El Royale is our top recommended online casino for Massachusetts players.
Online Live Dealer Casinos
Video streaming through the internet has been around for many years, but it has only been recently become embedded with online gambling, creating Live Dealer games at online casinos.
Previously narrow bandwidth impacting internet speeds were not developed enough to create a smooth gaming experience. In addition PC’s, laptops, tablets and smartphones lacked the power to support online live dealer games.
But, in today’s world, all this has changed. Now many players are turning to online live dealers.
Online live dealers bring the best of two worlds together. The world of real Vegas table gaming with a live dealer (not an algorithm), and the world of online casino bonuses (not discounted meals or complimentary beverages).
In addition, online live dealers brings forth features that never could be possible at land based real dealer tables. One example is the unlimited back behind betting, most often used in blackjack. This feature allows for unlimited number of players to back another player(s). At a land based table game, this feature would be impossible to accomodate. For starters, there wouldn’t be enough table space, and secondly it would be extremely arduous for the dealer to process all the back behinds, thus slowing the down game.
Of course, online live dealers have been made popular due to the events of Covid 19 in 2020. Massachusetts Players are reluctant to expose themselves to the potential risks of catching coronavirus at land based venues. There is also the inconvenience that players want to avoid, such as wearing masks that must meet quality standards, consistently washing and/or santizing hands, submission to temperature checks, and ensuring social distancing to be maintained.
Players can find many types of games performed by live dealers online. Games include: blackjack, American and European roulette, baccarat, Sic Bo, Pai Gow, craps and many more.
If you are new to online casinos, and sceptical of RNG games, then try online live dealer games. You will not be disappointed.
Top 3 Massachusetts Online Bingo Sites
Massachusetts Bingo Legality
Massachusetts bingo laws are stipulated under Charitable gaming state legislation. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address nor permit online bingo by onshore operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Massachusetts players are based offshore (which is the same as online casinos and sports betting sites).
The recommended online bingo sites all accept players from Massachusetts. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!
Sports betting has yet to be legalized in the the state. However, online sports betting sites do exist and they are based offshore. They accept Massachusetts bettors, with no precedence of any bettor being informed of a breach in law, let alone charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports is growing fast in popularity. New to the gambling scene, it is considered a game of skill by many which requires bettors to create a fictitious team based on real players. The performance of the real sports players in real life determine how successful the fictitious team is. As a result, it truly is those with the most “skills” will win.
The two dominant US daily fantasy sports providers is DraftKings and FanDuel. On this site, we do not actively promote daily fantasy sports as we understand that it is a game of “skill” which is being exploited by bettors who have the best risk modelling. That is, it isn’t nearly about how well you know your sport, the sport players etc, it is very much about who has the best statistical model and who has access to the most detailed sports player data.
As someone who may be a big fan of sport, and thinking that they would have a good chance of winning money in DFS, think again. You are pitted against statistical modelling experts who deliberately target games that mostly have new players to DFS. In fact, it has been alleged that those who are extremely good at DFS have been known to collaborate among themselves and not compete with each other. Thereby creating a sustainable winning formula shared by the experts.
We therefore want our readers to be aware that DFS is not what is appears to be. In fairness, DFS is legal in Massachusetts and many DFS onshore operators accept Massachusetts players.
- The Gaming Act allows for a maximum of three casinos to be located in three different geographical locations and for one slots facility within the State
- State law does not expressly prohibit online gambling but does prohibit onshore online operators from operating within the market
Legal Minimum Gambling Age
- 21 for online gaming and sports betting
- 18 for bingo (live and online), lottery, horse and dog race betting
- All casino gambling revenue is taxed at 25% with the exception of slots.
- Slots gaming revenue is taxed at 40%.
- Online offshore gaming revenue is taxed at various rates depending on the jurisdiction.
Regulation and Governance
Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC)
- Expanded Gaming Act 2011
- M.G.L. Chapters 182A and 128C.
Massachusetts Gambling Market Developments
On 4 November 2014 officials announced a ballot question put to state voters to ban casinos in Massachusetts was unsuccessful. Therefore, the Gaming Act 2011 will continue to have effect within the State. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission cited the fact, that because a high number of citizens voted against the Gaming Act, much work would still be necessary to ensure full confidence moving forward;
On 6 November 2014, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, unanimously approved casino licenses for MGM Springfield and Wynn Resorts. Wynn Resorts have transferred the license fee $85m and MGM are due to process payment ($85m) by 17 November 2014.
Before Wynn Resorts can begin construction, it must receive Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act approval (official documentation is due to be submitted before the end of 2014). The MGM casino is expected to open in 2017 and Wynn Resorts late in 2017 due to a lengthier projected construction process. Together, the casinos will generate employment for over 10,000 construction workers and for over 10,000 full-time staff.
The City of Boston, issued litigation proceedings against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, over the award of its license to Wynn Resorts for a casino in Everett, alleging that the Commission’s actions repeatedly breached the Expanded Gaming Act. The City of Boston argued the casino location should be designated within the community, given that Boston provides the only access route to Everett. The protection of the people of Boston, the safety of its residents and environmental concerns were highlighted within the complaint;
The Gaming Commission announced that Mass Gaming and Entertainment, Seafan Trust and Somerset on the Move LLC, were compliant with the prerequisites to submit an application for the region C casino license before the 30 January 2015 deadline (KG Urban Enterprises already filed an application to build a casino in New Bedford). All three organisations would hold meetings with the Gaming Commission before 16 January 2015 to disclose the names of the individuals involved in the developments, for vetting purposes.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced that five groups submitted applications or requests for extensions for the final casino license in the southeast region of the State. KG Urban Enterprises and Mass Gaming & Entertainment were the two groups to issue respective applications. Somerset on the Move, Crossroads Massachusetts and the Seafan Trust made application extension requests. Each group addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on 5 February 2015. The Gaming Commission would reach its decision and award the final casino license by the end of Q3, 2015.
The State announced it would adopt the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s GameSense responsibility gambling program. The program enables provides players with factual information to help them play responsibly, make informed decisions and receive the correct advice, when needed. Game Sense would be incorporated into the current system operated in Massachusetts, making it the first jurisdiction outside Canada to embrace the program. Plainridge Park Casino would be the first casino within the state to feature GameSense, with the new MGM and Wynn facilities expected to follow.
Federal Court Judge David Souter ruled that the Gaming Commission was able to make “highly discretionary” decisions over license applications, denying Ceasars Entertainment Corporation, the opportunity to sue the Gaming Commission, for its decision to award Wynn Resorts a casino license in Boston. In reaching its decision, the court followed precedent set by a Supreme Court decision and found that the submission of a bid for an operating license does not establish a property right.
Signed a law to raise the tax-reporting threshold on gaming winnings to $1200, up from $600, which brought the rate payable to the IRS in line with federal legislation;
State Representatives progressed a Bill proposing a supplementary budget to enable, Suffolk Downs to continue through to 2016 and provide funding for horse training and other related programs. The Bill was sent to the Senate and the governor for final consideration.
Senator Jennifer Flanagan, introduced legislation which would authorize the state lottery to provide its services online. The bill, S151, empowers the gaming commission to determine the type of games it can offer as well as advising the director of the lottery regarding its operation and administration.
State Senator Michael Rush, introduced bill S191 to allow the lottery to offer online games of skill as well as online tickets. The online games platform would be developed by a private operator who would work within the lottery’s existing framework to provide a range of products including fantasy sports and poker.
Plainridge Park Casino, opened on 24 June 2015. The casino, which includes harness racing is the first lawful slots facility within the State, with a total of 1250 machines.
Plainridge Casino, would be open 24/7, 365 days a year and is projected to generate c$200m in its first year of operation, with c$100m distributed to the State.
The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, held a hearing to evaluate a number of bills seeking to expand the state lottery. The bills discussed included S191, introduced in April by Senator Rush. A number of lottery market consultants provided support for the proposals whereas ticket vendors opposed the introduction of online ticket sales.
Attorney General Maura Healey, announced she will conduct a review to determine the legality of daily fantasy sport operations within the state.
Attorney General Maura Healey, filed a number of consumer protection proposals to regulate DFS operations in the state. The regulations concern; the protection of minors, levelling the playing field, advertisement and financial protections. A public hearing will take place on 12 January 2016 to discuss the proposals.
Senator Bruce Tarr, introduced a Senate Bill to allow state-licensed casinos to offer online gambling. The bill states the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, would be responsible for determining the forms of gambling to be allowed. No timeline has been provided for the bill’s progression.
The State Lottery launched a request for information regarding the purchase of an iLottery system in a move to launch its services online.
The new system will be required to implement an online and mobile sales platform with new game offerings and must integrate this with existing retail locations. The RFI stage will close on 26 February 2016.
The Office of the Attorney General published the finalized requirements which DFS operators must meet to offer their games in the state. The regulations are based on the proposals filed by the Attorney General in November and focus on consumer protection and problem gambling prevention. The new regulations will come into force no later than July1, 2016 and do not require any secondary approval from the legislature.
The State Lottery announced they received 20 responses to their request for information regarding iLottery systems. No time frame was provided for when the next stage of the process will be initiated.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 against granting an integrated casino resort license to Mass Gaming and Entertainment in South East Massachusetts. The license application process for region C began towards the end of 2014 and the Commission completed a thorough review of the favored parties’ application in April 2016. The final review consisted of 5 detailed submissions to be evaluated by the 5 commissioners, the applicant received 1 sufficient/very good rating, 3 sufficient ratings and 1 insufficient rating.
The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure voted in favour of authorizing the lottery to conduct games online. SB151 was introduced in April 2015 and has received renewed interest following the lottery’s request for information regarding online expansion in January 2016. The bill must be passed before the legislature adjourns on 31 July 2016 to be considered by the Governor this year.
Massachusetts legalizes fantasy sports (Bill H4569). The Bill was signed by Governor Baker, making Massachusetts the eighth state to do so.
A special study panel was established to investigate interactive gambling and consider various methods of regulation. The panel’s representative from the Gaming Commission, Chairman Stephen Crosby, has, on a number of occasions, raised the possibility of an omnibus bill to regulate all forms of interactive gaming in the same piece of legislation.
State citizens voted against the measure to amend the Expanded Gaming Act 2011 to allow another slot parlor to be established in the state.
IGT secured a contract with the State Lottery to provide a new central gaming system and develop an interactive platform to display results and general lottery information.
Senator Jennifer Flanagan introduced SD06 to authorize an interactive lottery. The bill would amend existing legislation to permit the State Lottery Commission to offer games through interactive and mobile channels as well as grant the Commission the power to establish the necessary regulations; Senator Bruce Tarr introduced a bill to permit land-based casinos to offer interactive table games, including poker. SD200 would entrust the licensing and regulation of the industry to the Gaming Commission but specifically prohibits licensees from offering online slots and lottery games.
The Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports held a hearing on the regulation of interactive gambling in the state. The Commission agreed on proposals to regulate the interactive market through an omnibus approach that deals with all forms of online gambling.
The Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports published the report of its study into the regulation of interactive gambling. The Commission recommended the legislature authorized and regulated paid daily fantasy sports games but did not pursue the legalisation of more expansive interactive gambling at present. Another recommendation was put forward advising the legislature to broadly define online gaming to incorporate all available forms of interactive gambling.
The MGC announced it was preparing a white paper regarding the possibility of the authorization of sports betting. The Commission planned to present its findings to the legislature ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on PASPA.
The MGC agreed to a collaborate with the state’s casino operators to establish “play management” programs allowing gamblers to set spending limits and automatic alerts to combat problem gambling; Senator Eileen Donoghue introduced legislation to permanently authorize and regulate
daily fantasy sports as well as provide for the authorization of interactive sports betting.
SD2273 proposed a 15% gross win tax on DFS operators and an initial license application fee of the lesser of $100,000 or one and one-half percent (1.5%) of the previous year’s gross revenue. The bill would also provisionally authorize interactive sports betting and establish a special commission to propose legislation to regulate the activity provided PASPA is repealed.
The MGC issued a white paper on sports betting which outlined a number of key considerations and analysed the industry’s future in the state should PASPA be repealed. The document also identified prospective licensees and operators within the state.
MGM officially opened its Springfield casino on 24 August 2018.
Legislators introduced a range of bills concerning the operation of sports betting in the state:
- S882 would permit land-based gaming facilities to operate retail and mobile sport books and proposed a gross win tax of 6.75%;
- S903 would permit retail sportsbooks at land-based gaming facilities and
‘standalone’ mobile sportsbooks with a gross win tax of 12.5%;
o S908 would establish a commission to investigate how best to operate
sports betting in the state
- S1110 would authorize sports betting at land based gaming facilities and through mobile platforms.The bill did not specify a tax rate but did include a royalty fee of 0.25%
Governor Charlie Baker also introduced a bill to permit retail sportsbooks at land based gaming facilities and ‘standalone’ mobile sportsbooks with a gross win tax of 10% for land-based betting and 12.5% for mobile betting;
House Representative Bradford Hill introduced legislation to authorize DFS and online gaming. The Bill, H377, mainly details regulations pertaining to the operation of DFS, however, language included in the bill could legalize online gaming through its definition of the activity as follows – “a game, including DFS, offered through the internet or through other communications technology that allows a person utilizing money or currency of any kind to transmit information to (i) risk something of value, (ii) on the outcome of an event, (iii) with an opportunity to win a prize.”
The Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee held a hearing on the legalisation and regulation of land based and mobile sports betting. Notably, representatives from the state’s land based casinos including MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts gave testimony in favor of legalisation indicating a reversal of their previous opposition to mobile betting.
A legislative panel that has been studying sports betting for the past year has submitted a bill that would legalize wagering on professional and Division 1 college sports – although prop bets on individual college athletes would be prohibited. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would be given discretion to write the regulations, but Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee has suggested that retail wagering would be legal in the state’s 3 (three) casinos as well as the slot parlor at Plainridge Park and each casino would be permitted to offer 3 (three) online skins and Plainridge Park Slot Parlour would be permitted 2 (two). The bill proposed a tax rate of 10% of gross win for retail operations and 12% for online.
Legislation was introduced to the House to permit retail and online sports betting in the state. The bill (H2879) would authorize and regulate sports betting through the state’s land based casinos, racetracks and licensed daily fantasy sports operators who are licensed to operate sports betting in at least two (2) other states and have been in operation in the state for a minimum of one (1) year before the enactment of the bill. The tax rate would be set at 15% of gross win plus an additional 1% to be directed to the sporting venues in the state for events held there. Official league data would be compulsory for in-play bets and prop bets would be banned on college sports;
Legislation to authorize sports betting (H2879) was amended by the House to increase the proposed tax rate from 15% of gross win to 30%. Further provisions were also added to the bill to permit the State Lottery to launch and online sales platform;
Proposals to authorize and regulate sports betting in the state were removed from legislation upon its introduction to the Senate. Whilst Governor Charlie Barker had spoken in support of legalizing sports betting, State Senator Michael Rodrigues stated that the current legislation was not the “proper vehicle” required to do so but that he believed the issue would be considered soon.