Online gambling has experienced rapid expansion. According to market research firm eMarketer’s estimate, annual revenues have exceeded US$43 billion since 2012. Yet its legality remains a matter of contention; while some states have banned it outright and others enacted laws to regulate it; most recently Massachusetts lawmakers legalized sports betting under Bill H 5164 which will take effect sometime around 2023.
Massachusetts has long been making strides toward providing legal gambling options to its residents, with 2011’s Expanded Gaming Act opening the way for casino resorts in Massachusetts and paving the way for three luxurious casinos to open within their borders. Massachusetts is also home to popular daily fantasy sports sites like Splyce and DraftKings which help boost revenue while encouraging more residents to gamble legally.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced plans to legalize sports betting in his state and indicated it will bring over $100 million in revenues as well as jobs creation. To be legal, however, games must be overseen and regulated by the Gaming Commission of Massachusetts.
At present, Massachusetts does not legalize other forms of online gambling, though its future may change in the near future. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor both belong to organizations with extensive online gambling operations that could potentially offer online versions of their sportsbooks if they decide to offer them; these organizations could face competition from companies like FanDuel or DraftKings as they do so.
Massachusetts made online sports betting legal early 2023. While its initial launch was modest, since then the market has seen exponential growth and according to Legal Sports Report is projected to rank among the top ten states for handles, revenue, and taxes within one year of operations.
Massachusetts residents also have other forms of online gambling available to them, such as lottery games, charity gambling games and horse racing. Although these forms of gambling may not offer as lucrative returns as sports betting does, they do provide an additional way for residents to place bets on their favorite teams.
Although no definitive answer can be given on this issue, it is safe to assume that if new legislation were to authorize online casinos in Massachusetts, existing retail casino license holders would likely be the first ones to establish online operations. This is likely because many have already successfully launched poker or other forms of gambling sites in other states as well as developed strong relationships with sportsbook partners; to operate legally in Massachusetts one must have such an established partnership in place in order to operate an online casino.