Legal sports betting opens up soon in Massachusetts. Retail sportsbooks can start taking wagers on site starting on January 31st, while online sportsbooks will follow on an as-yet unspecified date in early March.
As a result of the Massachusetts Sports Wagering Act passed in August 2022, the Bay State will allocate 15 sports betting licenses, though some of those betting licensees can then have multiple partners. There are three categories of licenses.
- Category 1: Physical sportsbooks at casinos. Each can then partner with two online sportsbooks who must get licensed
- Category 2: Racetracks and off-track betting facilities. They can partner with one online sportsbook. There are two racetracks eligible so far, Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs, but neither is ready for the January 31st launch.
- Category 3: Mobile sportsbooks. These do not need partnerships. The state will allocate seven of these
There is no wagering allowed on in state college teams, except when they are in tournaments, and no credit card deposits at sportsbooks. It is all administered via the Massachusetts Gaming Commision (MGC).
Thus far five sportsbooks have worked their way through the process and are officially approved to operate in Massachusetts. They are Barstool (Penn Gaming), BetMGM, Caesars, Fanatics and WynnBet. Another two, FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings, should join them soon. PointsBet, Bally’s, BetWay, and Betr may get approvals in the next wave. New customers should use the top BetMGM Massachusetts bonus code and take advantage of their first bet free bet insurance. Sign up, make a deposit, enter the code and place a wager. If the bet hits, just cash the winnings, If it loses, BetMGM will replenish funds lost in the form of free bets up to a maximum of $1000.
Massachusetts currently has two full casinos that can open sportsbooks on January 31st,. They are the Encore Boston Harbor Casino outside Boston and the MGM Springfield Casino. Plus there is the Plainridge Park Casino which can add a sportsbook to their slots-only casino. Once these open, presumably the MGC is happy enough with what they see, expect to get an official date for the online sportsbooks to launch.
Right now, everyone anticipates Bay State residents can start placing online wagers in early March, just ahead of one of the most fun sporting events on the calendar. That is of course, March Madness, the annual bracket filling and betting bonanza. It is a bit of a wide open season so far in college hoops, with some usual powers not having the best of starts. Here are the betting favorites to take the title over at BetMGM.
- Houston +700
- Purdue +1000
- Kansas +1200
- UCLA +1200
- Arizona +1400
- Tennessee +1400
- Alabama +1400
- Gonzaga +1600
- Arkansas +2200
- Baylor +2200
- Texas +2200
- Virginia +2200
- Kentucky +2500
- North Carolina +2500
- TCU +2800
- Duke +3000
- Illinois +3000
- Indiana +3000
Everyone else is +5000 or higher. There are unquestionable some Bracket Busters in that pack, but as always, good luck figuring them out in advance.
Assuming online sports betting kicks off in March, Massachusetts residents will have plenty more to wager on beyond March Madness. Playoffs start in April in both the NBA and NHL, and Boston currently features two winter sports powerhouses.
A little over halfway through the regular season, the Celtics sit atop the NBA with a 32-12 record. They are the favorites to take the NBA crown at BetMGM at +400, and also the team to beat in the East at +175. Plus Jason Tatum has the third lowest odds in the MVP race at +450, after Luca Doncic and Nikola Jokic both at +250. Malcolm Brogdon sits third in Sixth Man odds at +550 though Russell Westbrook at +100 with some good play and better narrative looks tough to unseat there,
Celtics bettors will also found point spreads, totals, moneylines and lots of props on all the games. Just prepare to almost always have to give points with the Celtics as they rarely go out as underdogs. Even with that, Boston is 25-19 vs the number so far this season.
The Bruins have gotten off to an even better start as they pace the NHL with 70 points via a sterling 33-5-4 mark. They have gone an incredible 20-1-3 at home. BetMGM ptices them as Stanley Cup favorites at +500 and Eastern Conference favorites at +250. The league awards the Presidents Cup to the team with the best regular season record, but it looks too late to get the Bruins there as they sit at -450.
Lots of Bruins sit near the top of the board in individual awards. David Pastrnak is second in the Hart Trophy (MVP) race at +1400, though with Connor McDavid at –350 that contest is almost closed barring an injury. Pastrnak could catch McDavid for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Award given to the top goal scorer as he trails by only four goals. McDavid is +100 there while Pastrnak is +250. Meanwhile, Goalie Linus Ulmark is the favorite for the Vezina Trophy at +140.
Hockey bettors can also wager on money lines, totals and 1.5 goal “Puck” lines throughout the rest of the regular season and playoffs, plus fun props on every game.
Bay State sports bettors will also have plenty of time to wager on Red Sox futures before the season starts. The bad news is that the Red Sox are not projected to have a great season in 2023. The good is that for anyone that likes taking a shot at underdogs, the payouts look great! BetMGM has the Sox +8000 to capture the World Series, +3500 to take the AL pennant and +1600 to win the AL East.
2023 Patriots odds do not come out until after this year’s Super Bowl. They head into the fourth year of meh in the post-Brady era. Perhaps they shake things up this offseason, but otherwise they project like they did in 2022. That is, in contention for a Wild Card spot but not a serious Super Bowl threat.
With online sports betting up and rolling by spring, Massachusetts residents can look forward to wagering on just about anything they want in the foreseeable future.