Massachusetts Online Sports Betting

Massachusetts sports betting officially has the green light. Lawmakers agreed on a MA sports betting bill in the early morning of Aug. 1, paving the way for sports betting in Massachusetts to launch. That means sports betting apps, including DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, could go live in late 2022 or early 2023.

So, let’s get you prepared now that MA sports betting is legalized. Here are the top sportsbooks and sports betting sites you should keep an eye out for.

Sports Betting Apps Coming Soon to Massachusetts

The full group of Massachusetts sports betting apps likely to come to the state can’t be guaranteed at this point. But here’s a list of online sports betting apps we’re confident would try to come to the state now that sports betting is legal.

Best for App Experience

at DraftKings Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 18 states, including CT, NH, and NY

Best for App Experience

DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

$50 free bet

T&Cs apply

Deposit Match

20% up to $1,000

T&Cs apply

DraftKings is an obvious choice. It’s one of the country’s biggest sportsbooks, and it’s based in Boston. DraftKings also already offers daily fantasy sports and has the DraftKings Marketplace, where you can buy, sell, and collect NFTs from all kinds of sports online.

Sports bettors will find a lot to like about this book, such as a robust mobile app and special mobile-only betting pools they can access on their iPhones or Android devices. The app is known for its player-friendly odds and deep betting markets.

DraftKings is one of the industry leaders for these reasons and more, such as a generous deposit match opening bonus that is potentially worth up to $1,000, plus a $50 free bet when new users sign up and deposit $5.

Best for Rewards Program

at BetMGM Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 16 states, including NY, NJ, and PA

Best for Rewards Program

BetMGM Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

$1,000 risk-free bet

T&Cs apply

Keep your eye on BetMGM as well. This budding sportsbook giant is looking to expand across the eastern seaboard and offers a minimalist mobile app that’s easy to navigate and understand, even for newcomers. MGM also already operates a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.

BetMGM offers good betting markets and odds across the board, plus in-play betting. It offers live-stream betting plus a solid rewards program that will make it a favorite for plenty of Massachusetts bettors.

Best for Market Variety

at Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 15 states, including NJ, NY, and MD

Best for Market Variety

Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

$1,500 risk-free bet

T&Cs apply

Formerly under the William Hill brand, Caesars Sportsbook may also try to launch in Massachusetts. It benefits from deep and varied betting markets, such as soccer, rugby, and cricket.

But it’s also a good choice for American-based sports fans. It offers a good deposit match opening bonus, an intuitive mobile app, and live streaming if you want to catch your favorite horse races and place in-the-moment wagers using Caesars’ streamlined interface.

Best for Welcome Offer

at BetRivers Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 11 states, including NY and PA

Best for Welcome Offer

BetRivers Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

100% deposit match up to $250

T&Cs apply

BetRivers is a young mobile sportsbook. But it’s a quality platform, featuring player-friendly odds and a mobile-optimized interface that makes navigating to various menus or functions quick and easy.

The app offers a small but worthwhile opening bonus and good betting markets for most major professional sports leagues, like baseball, basketball, and football. It’s not the best when it comes to international betting markets, but that’s a minor downside. You’ll also be able to participate in live streaming and in-play betting.

Best for New Users

at FanDuel Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 17 states, including CT, NY, and NJ

Best for New Users

FanDuel Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

$1,000 "no sweat first bet"

T&Cs apply

FanDuel is almost as likely to launch in Massachusetts as DraftKings, as it also offers daily fantasy sports to Massachusetts residents.

It has one of the best mobile apps in the industry, which offers live streaming and in-play betting alongside special promotional odds opportunities on game days.

The app also offers a generous opening bonus worth up to $1,000 for new account owners. FanDuel’s betting market depth and league variety are excellent. Bettors will be able to find pools for all their favorite American professional sports, plus plenty of international or niche sports.

Best for Unique Bets

at PointsBet Massachusetts

Available on: iOS, Android, Web browser

States Available: 10 states, including NY, NJ, and PA

Best for Unique Bets

PointsBet Sportsbook Massachusetts

Bonus

2 risk-free bets up to $2,000

T&Cs apply

PointsBet, which offers its own unique style of wagering called PointsBetting, stands up against the industry’s heaviest hitters with its deep menu of leagues and sports to bet on. It also boasts one of the most intriguing welcome bonuses: two risk-free bets worth up to $2,000.

The app offers competitive odds and its PointsBetting feature gives users a little slice of something different from their traditional gambling.

Other Potential Massachusetts Sportsbooks

WynnBET Sportsbook Massachusetts

Wynn operates Encore Boston Harbor, so WynnBET could also be a likely contender, even though other sportsbooks are bigger. It offers a new user promo of $200 in free bets if you wager $50. Now legal in nine states, including New Jersey and New York, WynnBET is looking to continue expanding as more states legalize sports betting.

Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts

Penn National Gaming operates Massachusetts’ third casino, Plainridge Park Casino. It has partnered with Barstool Sportsbook to launch mobile sports betting apps in 12 states. Again, with it already operating a Massachusetts casino, Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sportsbook could have a good chance.

Unibet, FOX Bet, and more may also pursue licenses. Of course, license fees are expensive, and that may dissuade smaller sportsbooks that are still growing.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Updates

Massachusetts lawmakers agreed on a MA sports betting bill in the early hours of Aug. 1.

Dating back to last summer, here’s how it all played out:

  • The House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill last summer. It would allow betting on college sports and allow unlimited Massachusetts sports betting licenses. It would tax in-person bets at 12.5% and bets on online sports betting apps at 15%. And it would require any advertising to not be misleading to anyone under 21.
  • The Senate passed its own sports betting bill in April. It has a few key differences, namely that college sports betting would not be allowed. It would allow only nine sportsbook licenses and give three to the state’s current three casino operators. It would tax in-person bets at 20% and bets on online sports betting apps at 35%. And it would ban sports betting ads during live sports broadcasts, as well as five minutes before and after.
  • A top-ranking senator signaled a sense of urgency in June. Michael Rodrigues, the Senate Ways and Means Chairman, said during a June 9 conference committee meeting that his group will work to get an approved bill to Gov. Baker “as quickly as possible.”
  • On July 8, state Rep. Jerry Parisella said he was hopeful Massachusetts would pass a sports betting bill by the July 31 end of session in a conversation with MassLive.
  • On July 13, Senate President Karen Spilka also told reporters she was hopeful an agreement would be reached by July 31.
  • But things took a turn in late July, with Gov. Baker and House Speaker Ron Mariano voicing doubt that an agreement will be reached by July 31.
  • Still, on July 25, Spilka told reporters she was hopeful a bill would be passed by July 31.
  • Finally, on Aug. 1, the House and Senate agreed on a sports betting bill. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is now responsible for creating a draft of regulation and getting them approved before the retail and online sports betting launch.
  • DraftKings is ecstatic with the decision. On Aug. 1, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins released this statement: “We are thrilled that our home state has acted to protect consumers, create jobs and grow revenue in the commonwealth. We are hopeful that the legislature will move to quickly pass this and Governor Baker will sign it into law.”
  • On Aug. 10, Gov. Baker signed the sports betting bill into law. On the last day possible, Massachusetts sports betting finally got the green light. The expectation is for retail casinos to launch sports betting before online wagering, the latter potentially being available in 3-6 months.

When Will Massachusetts Sports Betting Launch?

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission convened on Aug. 4 to discuss the launch of Massachusetts sports betting.

Members of the commission said Massachusetts residents will need to be patient. Some state senators’ lofty goals of getting things up and running by football season won’t happen. The licensing process can take up to six months.

Is there hope that MA sports betting could launch by the end of the football season? Yes, but there’s no guarantee.

“We are going to do this right, and in order to do this right, we need to take our time a little bit,” MGC Commissioner Bradford Hill said during the Aug. 4 meeting. “This is going to take a little longer than people anticipate.

It will take 2-3 months for permanent regulations to be adopted with the MA sports betting bill. There are 225 regulations to go through, so that will take time. And, again, licensing could take up to six months.

The MGC did leave the door open for temporary sports betting licenses, which cost $1 million compared to the regular $5 million. But MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said the MGC needs to get more information before deciding whether temporary licenses are appropriate.

There are still plenty of unknowns to sift through, as well. For instance: How will the MGC license retail operators vs. mobile operators? Will there be a different process? Surely there will, as the seven standalone mobile sportsbook licenses will see a very competitive application process.

Guide to Online Sports Betting in Massachusetts

Massachusetts sports bettors will not likely have to register at a retail casino in order to complete signing up for a new sportsbook. Instead, odds are that players will be able to register for a sportsbook online by providing some personal information and agreeing to download geolocation tracking software for their online sports betting app.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at how you can soon place sports bets online in Massachusetts.

Sports Betting in Boston

When things get up and running in Massachusetts, sports betting in Boston could rival the sports betting industry of any major city in the US. With 4.9 million people, according to the 2020 Census, the Boston metropolitan area is the 10th-largest metro in the country.

Combine that with the fact that three of the state’s four major pro sports teams play in Boston (Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins) and the New England Patriots play just outside Boston in Foxboro, and you’ve got the makings for sports betting in Boston to be huge.

There is currently one retail casino in Boston — Encore Boston Harbor. The Wynn-operated casino will surely add a sportsbook for sports betting in Boston. Of course, Boston residents can download any number of the Massachusetts sports betting apps that will be available too.

Local Pro Sports and Teams

Massachusetts’ future sports betting industry will rely on the wide range of professional sports franchises that call the state home.

  • New England Patriots, a National Football League team that plays at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough
  • Boston Celtics, a National Basketball Association team that plays at TD Garden
  • Boston Red Sox, a Major League Baseball team that plays at Fenway Park
  • Boston Bruins, a National Hockey League team that plays at TD Garden
  • Boston College Eagles, a college football and basketball program that plays in Boston
  • UMass Minutemen, a college football and basketball program that plays in Amherst

With sports betting coming to Massachusetts, you’ll likely be able to bet on all the major American sports mentioned above alongside sports like soccer, NASCAR, MMA, and more. Most big sportsbooks even include international betting markets for wagering on sports like cricket, rugby, and table tennis.

Esports Betting in Massachusetts

Speaking of betting markets, esports is becoming more popular around the world. Future operators in Massachusetts like DraftKings and FanDuel will almost certainly provide betting lines for esports competitions for popular games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, and more.

Boston Red Sox Odds and Updates

The Boston Red Sox showed some life in their Aug. 1-3 series against the Houston Astros, winning two of three games on the road. That pulled Boston to an even 53-53 entering its Aug. 4-7 series in Kansas City. The Red Sox are still in last place in the American League East, 17 games behind first-place New York and a half-game behind fourth-place Baltimore.

Boston currently sits three games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the third AL Wild Card spot. It picked up first baseman Eric Hosmer before the trade deadline, after he vetoed his trade to the Washington Nationals as part of the massive Juan Soto deal. It also got outfielder Tommy Pham from the Reds and dealt catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston.

Following the trade deadline, BetMGM and FanDuel have the Red Sox’s World Series odds at +10000. Caesars Sportsbook has the odds at +8000 and DraftKings gives Boston +11000 odds to win the World Series.

Retail Sportsbook Partnerships in Massachusetts

The three current retail casino operators in Massachusetts will have a leg up when applying for sports betting licenses. You can all but assume there will be sportsbooks at Massachusetts’ three retail casinos, and that those casinos’ operators will run those sportsbooks.

MGM Springfield

It’s only logical that MGM will add a sportsbook to this 500,000-square foot facility with over 125,000 square feet of gaming space in Springfield. And, obviously, BetMGM will be that retail sportsbook’s online platform.

Encore Boston Harbor

Wynn operates Encore Boston Harbor, a five-star luxury resort in Everett that features more than 200,000 square feet of gaming space. So, even though WynnBET isn’t as popular as some of the more dominant sportsbook options, it should have an inside lane to a license in Massachusetts.

Plainridge Park Casino

Penn National Gaming operates Plainridge Park Casino, which features more than 1,200 slot machines and the state’s only active horse racetrack. Penn National Gaming has previously partnered with Barstool Sportsbook in other states, so it’s reasonable to believe it would do that in Massachusetts, too.

Opening Bonuses at Massachusetts Sportsbooks

When searching for a perfect sportsbook or online sports betting app, be sure to consider the Massachusetts sportsbook bonus offer that may come with the betting platform. Opening bonuses come in a few major types and are perfect for allowing you to check out everything that a sports betting app has to offer without spending too much cash.

  • Deposit match bonuses apply to your initial deposit only and offer free site credit, usually based on how much you deposit overall. DraftKings, for instance, has a 20% deposit bonus of up to $1,000. This means a new user may deposit up to $5,000 and they receive the maximum bonus in site credit.
  • Risk-free bets are perfect for newcomers who want some protection from initial bad luck. FanDuel offers a “no sweat first bet” up to $1,000 and BetMGM offers a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. Make your first wager and, if it goes south, you’ll get reimbursed in the form of free site credit vouchers or, in FanDuel’s case, free bets.
  • Free bets are also commonly offered, either as temporary promotions or staple opening bonuses. DraftKings sometimes offers multiple free bets to new account holders, though this is dependent on the state. These free bets can be used on particular wagers with set odds limits

Each opening bonus also comes with a number of terms and conditions. These can affect when you can withdraw any winnings from opening bonus credit and other aspects.

As mentioned, DraftKings’ occasional free bets can’t be used just anywhere. You can’t combine them with other wagers, which automatically limits how you can use them. The bets have to be taken advantage of within a week of signing up for your account. Otherwise, they expire and can no longer be retrieved.

Ultimately, it’s important to read the terms and conditions before signing up with a Massachusetts sports betting app so you aren’t disappointed or surprised.

Legal Betting vs. Unregulated Betting in Massachusetts

It’s no secret that sports betting still happens in states where it’s illegal or unregulated. It just happens at illegal offshore sites. That was one of the reasons Massachusetts lawmakers pushed so hard to legalize sports betting in the Bay State.

It’s never a good idea to use an offshore sportsbook for a few major reasons.

  • Offshore sites don’t usually have quality digital security, so any personal information you provide may be at risk for identity theft. Most sportsbooks require you to provide key personal information to set up an account, like a bank account number and Social Security number.
  • Offshore or illegal betting sites don’t provide high-quality betting lines
  • There are no safeguards in place to prevent an offshore betting site from taking your wagering money once you deposit it into your account. This is the exact opposite of a regulated wagering site, which is overseen by a regulatory body and bound by law to operate fairly.

All in all, it’s better to wait for legal sportsbooks to launch in Massachusetts than to risk your personal information and money with an offshore betting site. That wait shouldn’t be too long now.

How Can You Tell That Online Sportsbooks in Massachusetts Are Fair?

Regulated sportsbooks will be listed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will regulate the future sports betting industry. You should be able to find a MGC icon on a sportsbook’s website advertising their regulation. 

You can also look at the previous reputation of an online sportsbook. Names like BetRivers, DraftKings, and more are known throughout the country or the world. They offer sports wagering through legitimate channels instead of trying to sneak around the rules.

If you ever have any questions, you’ll be able to contact these organizations’ customer service departments or even the MGC itself. Any newly regulated sportsbooks will likely be announced by local news sources, allowing you to create a new account and start using a new sportsbook almost as soon as it launches in this state.

How to Install Sports Betting Apps on Mobile Devices

Massachusetts residents will be able to download any online sports betting app on their mobile devices. Here’s how:

  1. Look through our sportsbook reviews and information on MA welcome bonuses and promos to find the sports betting app that best fits what you’re looking for.
  2. Download the sportsbook app when claiming a welcome bonus. It will be free. Apps are also available in the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android). Make sure you’re downloading the operator’s sportsbook app. For instance, FanDuel and DraftKings also have daily fantasy sports apps.
  3. Register with the sportsbook. You’ll normally need to provide key security information, such as your address and Social Security number. This is standard and meant to ensure your protection.
  4. Enter your promo code. (You might also have the option to do this before you fill out your registration information.)
  5. Deposit however much money you want into your account. Most sports betting apps accept a variety of funding options, including credit/debit card, online banking, or e-wallets such as PayPal.
  6. Place your first bet!

Sports Betting in Massachusetts FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?

It will be soon. Massachusetts lawmakers agreed on a sports betting bill on Aug. 1. Industry experts believe sports betting could officially launch in Massachusetts relatively quickly, especially at MGM-operated MGM Springfield and Wynn-operated Encore Boston Harbor.

Can I bet on college sports in Massachusetts?

Yes, you will be able to bet on college sports in Massachusetts. The Senate wanted no college sports betting, and the House of Representatives wanted all forms of college sports betting legal. So they compromised: College sports betting is legal in Massachusetts, but Massachusetts residents can only bet on in-state schools if they reach the postseason.

Can I bet on esports in Massachusetts?

You will soon, yes. Many of the sportsbooks expected to launch in Massachusetts offer odds on esports. Popular esports games include fighting titles such as Street Fighter and Tekken, MOBA titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and shooters such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant.

What is the tax rate for online sports betting in Massachusetts?

In-person sports betting will be taxed at 15%, and mobile sports betting will be taxed at 20%. The House originally wanted those figures to be 12.5% and 15%, and the Senate wanted 20% and 35%. So, the final version is closer to what the House wanted.

Can I use a credit card to bet on sports in Massachsuetts?

No. That was an area where the Senate got its way at the negotiating table. Massachusetts residents will not be allowed to use a credit card for sports betting.

Are sports betting ads banned in Massachusetts?

No. The Senate wanted advertisements for sports betting to be banned during live sports broadcasts, and during the five minutes before and after those broadcasts. But that provision didn’t make the final version of the bill.

Who can get a license to run an online sportsbook in Massachusetts?

Any operator that can pay Massachusetts’ licensing fee or any other future application fee should be able to launch online sports wagering. There is a limit of 15 licenses available for online sports betting operators.

How many sportsbooks will Massachusetts allow?

Massachusetts will allow up to seven sports betting licenses for operators not connected to one of Massachusetts’ retail casinos or racetracks. That means, essentially, if WynnBET (which operates Encore Boston Harbor), BetMGM (which operates MGM Springfield), and Penn National Gaming (which operates Plainridge Park Casino and partners with Barstool Sportsbook) want to operate in Massachusetts and can afford the licensing fees, they can.

Is DraftKings offering sports betting in Massachusetts?

It will soon. Now that sports betting has the green light in Massachusetts, sportsbooks will line up for the chance to tap into this potentially huge sports betting market. DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston, will likely be first in line.

Is FanDuel offering sports betting in Massachusetts?

It also will soon. FanDuel is one of the country’s premier sportsbooks, so it will no doubt seek (and probably get) a sports betting license in Massachusetts, now that MA sports betting has the green light.

About the Author

Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as a Content Manager at Massachusetts Casinos in 2022. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew continued to oversee the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan.