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Sports Betting

Five Things You Need to Know About Massachusetts Sports Betting, MA Online Sports Betting Apps

Staff Writer



Everything you need to know about Massachusetts sports betting and legal online sports betting in MA, with Free bet offers & promo codes

The legalization of sports betting continues to pick up steam around the United States. Many states have embraced the change, welcoming the added economic boost to the state. Others have seen their bills meet opposition. Massachusetts seems to be one of the states that could be on the verge of breaking through. Like many states, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a pause in their session, but some promising comments from the governor is giving potential sports bettors some hope. Here are the top-five things you need to know about Massachusetts sports betting and MA online sports betting apps.

1) Is Massachusetts Sports Betting Legal?

Massachusetts has been slow to fully legalize sports gambling, but that is not out of distaste for the industry. Rather, the state is taking a slow and steady approach to legalizing sports betting so as to avoid potential pitfalls. Projections are that sports betting could be signed into law in 2020. A recent bill that appears to be a major step forward for legalization has until July to be passed by state legislators.

Not currently, though the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies advanced a new bill on March 11, two days before the NBA suspended its season due to coronavirus. Initially it the bill was thought to have a strong likelihood of passing this year, but now, that seems unlikely.

2) What Bills are Currently Before the State Legislature?

Originally, all sports betting bills had the provision that gambling on collegiate athletics within the state of Massachusetts would not be legal. However, the most recent bill, H 4559, introduced in April 2020, would allow for Division I collegiate betting in this regard, as well as wagering on professional sports. This bill would also grant sports betting rights to three state casinos for land-based betting, horse tracks and up to five online operators based in Massachusetts. That last proposal would turn Massachusetts from one of the least progressed states to one of the most, as very few states have integrated online gambling operators based within the state.

This bill is, by all indications, expected to pass the House and Senate. Governor Charlie Baker said he would like “a sports betting bill on his desk by June,” and the state legislature’s deadline is July, so it appears he may get his wish.

3) What are the Next Steps for MA Sports Betting?

Obviously, first that bill needs to pass and the governor has to sign it into law. That prospect seems fairly likely right now, so the next step would be the long, arduous process of getting the proper channels in place. Online sports betting operation could take a little bit to set up, potentially more so than the land-based casinos that have everything but sports gambling licenses. 

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4) What are the Most Popular Teams to Bet on in MA?

Boston is one of the major sports capitals of the country, so there will be no shortage of wagering if/when it becomes legal. All four major sports franchises — Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots — have extremely passionate fanbases. Additionally, Massachusetts has two successful Division I universities with Boston College and the University of Massachusetts, as well as historic hockey powerhouse Boston University. And then there is Ivy League titan Harvard, who has made several runs in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The recent bill overturns a provision in past bills that restricted wagers on Massachusetts-based collegiate athletics. That restriction no longer appears to be in place. However, bettors will still not be allowed to wager on in-game performances of individual collegiate athletes.

5) Is There Anything Else to Know About Massachusetts Sports Betting?

Offshore gambling sites are already not illegal for Massachusetts residents, so they have had access to sports betting in that sense for some time. However, the recent bill’s inclusion of multiple Massachusetts-based online operators is a huge step forward for the industry. If that bill passes, the state could become one of the country’s sports gambling hubs overnight. At this time, it is not abundantly clear what such an operation would look like in practicality, but a risk-free online sports betting environment is a rare happening in the United States.

This list will expand if/when the bills pass and we have an idea what the online operators are. For now, there are three proposed sportsbooks with brick-and-mortar locations:

  • MGM Springfield in Springfield, Mass.
  • Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass., neighboring city to Boston.
  • A third, incomplete location expected to open in southwest Massachusetts.

What are the Most Common Types of Bets I Can Make in Massachusetts?

Straight bet

This is the most common bet type and it is just a straight up single bet on a game. A point spread is determined by the oddsmakers with one team being favored by a certain amount of points. Let’s take a look at an example line below to give a clear indication of what a straight bet would be:

Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110), moneyline -320

at Cleveland Cavaliers +6.5 (-110), moneyline +260

O/U 206

The Celtics are favored by 6.5 points in this example. This means that if you bet the Cavaliers, you are getting 6.5 points, so if the Cavaliers win the game, or lose by fewer than seven points, you will win the bet because of your 6.5-point cushion. On the other side, when you are laying 6.5 points as the favorite, you would need the Celtics to win by seven or more to win the bet.

Final Score: Celtics 102 Cavaliers 98. Cavaliers would cover even though the Celtics won the game because the +6.5 point spread is enough to cover a four-point defeat.

Moneyline Bet

The moneyline is a bet where there is no spread; you are just picking the winner of the game. In the example above, the Cavaliers ML is +260, which means that for every $100 wagered, you win $260 if the Cavaliers win the game outright. They receive the plus side of the moneyline since they are the underdog and picking them rewards you with nice odds since they are projected to likely lose the game. On the flip side, if you bet the Celtics ML at -320, you have to bet $320 to win $100. They are the favorites so if you decide to bet the moneyline instead of the point spread, you are forced to bet additional money to win $100.

In the example above, the Celtics ML would be the winner as they won the game outright. The spread is irrelevant for a moneyline wager.


This is a straight bet wagering on how many total combined points will be scored in a game by both teams. For example, an NBA game may have an over/under of 210 points, which means that the oddsmakers are projecting a combined points total of 210 between the two teams. If you think the teams are going to score more than 210 points total, you bet the over, and conversely, if you think it’s going to be a defensive struggle, you can bet the under hoping that the total points scored equals 209 points or less.


A parlay is a bet where you combine multiple bets into one bet and you get increased odds because you only win your parlay wager if all of your bets win. If you do a three-team parlay, you select three different teams from three different games and if you win all three of the bets you hit your parlay for longshot odds (6-1 so $100 to win $600). Going 0/3, 1/3, or 2/3 is all the same and you lose the parlay bet. It’s all or nothing which makes them tough to hit and is more of a home run type bet than a regular straight bet since there’s a chance for a big payoff.

Massachusetts Sports Betting FAQs

  1. Is Sports Betting Legal in State?
  2. How Can I bet in state?
  3. Will Massachusetts have Online Sports Betting or Sports Betting Apps?
  4. How Do I Open an Account?
  5. How Do I Deposit and Withdraw?
  6. Do I have to be in state to place a bet?
  7. What Games Can I bet on?
  8. What Companies Will be Offering Sports Betting?
  9. What Kind of Taxes Do I have to Pay?
  10. How Old Do I have to Be to Bet in State?
  11. What are the Betting Limits?
  12. Where Do I go if I have a problem?

Need more sports betting information? Check out the Awesemo betting home page.

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