Daily Fantasy Sports gambling is fully legal in Massachusetts; players are free to gamble with sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel. In fact, the state was one of the first to give DFS the go-ahead, demonstrating their increasingly positive stance on online gambling. Massachusetts players must be 21 or over and deposit no more than $1,000 a month to legally play fantasy sports.
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Massachusetts includes a long history of anti-gambling legislation that can be traced to the state's strong links to the Pilgrims. However, the modern progressive vibe of the state is now seeing gambling evolution gathering speed, offering more freedom and options for residents and visitors to Massachusetts.
Gambling options in Massachusetts are increasing for land-based gamblers as the state begins to gradually erode strict laws prohibiting wagering across many domains. While there are still restrictions in place, there's never been more freedom to bet in the state as there is now.
State law dictates that gamblers can bet on parimutuel horse races at select tracks and venues, while the Massachusetts Lottery is a mainstay in the state's gambling industry, offering lotto draws, scratchcards and pull tabs in bars. Similarly, charitable gambling initiatives are legal, including games such as bingo ("beano"), whist, raffles and casino poker nights ("bazaars"). There are almost 200 licensed charitable bingo venues in the state, and charitable gambling is estimated to generate well over $60 million per year in revenue.
The Massachusetts casino industry is relatively small, but has started to evolve in recent times with the go-ahead for both mainstream and Indian reservation casino hotels and resorts. In fact, by 2019, the launching of new casino resorts including the MGM Springfield will make the state very attractive to gambling tourists. Sports bettors are not so lucky, but that could change soon as there is some confidence behind the potential for state authorities to change the law and make it legal.
The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 has dramatically changed the casino landscape in Massachusetts, allowing three Las Vegas-style casinos and one slot facility to be built in the state. The Plainridge Park Casino and slot lounge opened in 2015, while MGM Springfield, a more than $900-million facility, took its first bet in summer 2018. It will be followed by the Wynn Boston Harbour in June 2019, a staggering $2.1 billion development.
Other resorts, including the Mashpee Wampanoag casino project, are also set to launch in the affluent Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard region. This development effectively creates a casino paradise in the state, offering the magic and options of high-end Las Vegas casinos including blackjack, roulette, slots, jackpots, craps, baccarat, poker, video poker, plus all the trappings of casino resorts.
Conversely, online casino gaming is not an option for Massachusetts gamers. The state has already discussed taking advantage of its popularity by legalizing it and forging ahead of other states in terms of technology. As yet though, no laws have been created. That means there are no options for online gambling as of now.
Poker nights have been legal in Massachusetts since 1969 by virtue of charity night gambling. However, the development of casino resorts in the state has opened up a new era for poker players who now have access to world-class poker tables and tournaments. But, like online table-styled gambling, web-based poker is not available in the commonwealth.
Horse race betting is currently the only sport that can really be bet on legally in Massachusetts. Lawmakers have warmed up to legal sportsbooks in brick and mortar locations, as well as possibly online offerings, but that may take up to a year to come to fruition. While the Bay State is ahead of most others when it comes to gambling views, residents will still have to wait to place a legal bet on sports like baseball, hockey or football.