Sports betting is illegal in Massachusetts, despite the fact that no state legislators have officially stated their objection.

There have been a number of attempts to legalize sports betting in other states after the Supreme Court knocked down a federal rule that had restricted full-fledged sports betting to Nevada in May of 2018. As of this writing, citizens of Massachusetts can’t legally gamble on sports in their own state.

It’s still not clear why this happened. A recent informal poll conducted by the State House News Service of the 40 senators in Massachusetts revealed that not a single one of them was prepared to go on the record to express their strong opposition to the regulation of sports betting.

A Temporary Alternative

Statewide mobile wagering is permitted in all four border states that allow gambling. Boston, New Massachusetts’s largest city and the country’s 21st most populated, is almost constantly the subject of debate. One of three casinos in Massachusetts may be found in Springfield, Massachusetts’ third biggest city, which is located just north of the Connecticut state line. Nearby is a retail casino owned by MGM, but it is not permitted to provide legal sports betting. Connecticut, on the other hand, is only seven miles away, and there, gamblers may go to gamble.

For now, Massachusetts residents are relying solely on offshore sportsbooks that are operating outside the borders of the state. The internet is full of detailed reviews of popular sportsbooks accepting bettors from Massachusetts, so one can easily find a good one in no time.

Apart from driving to Connecticut or using offshore sportsbooks, citizens may gamble on sports teams in New Hampshire, New York, or Rhode Island. In New Hampshire, DraftKings has a monopoly on wagering, and its platform is also accessible in New York.

A Glimmer of Hope for Bay Staters

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Judd-Stein emphasized that her panel is ready to work rapidly if the legislature legalized by stating the following;

“We feel really confident that with all the due diligence we’re doing, if we were designated the regulator of legalized sports wagering, we’d be able to get those regulations in place nimbly and we’d be able to start issuing licenses to start accepting sports bets,”

Then again. Massachusetts is the most frustrating of the 18 states that presently do not allow regulated sports betting. A number of indicators stated that the Senate President Karen Spilka purposely delayed the bill’s passage due to her aversion to gaming. It’s an indication of a flawed system when one legislator can scuttle a widely supported initiative. That process has been slowed down in Massachusetts by Spilka for the better part of four years.


Spilka recently told a local news station that she wasn’t convinced there was a “consensus” among her colleagues, despite the fact that 60% of them backed legalization, according to a survey. Though Spilka also said that “it makes no difference” where she feels on the topic, she is in charge of how matters are prioritized and what is heard as Senate president.

Since 2018, hearings have taken place, politicians have used the media to exert pressure on the Senate, professional sports teams have expressed their support, casino operators have said “bring it on,” DraftKings and other operators have lobbied, and with Judd comments, Stein’s every potential stakeholder has had a form of political engagement for legal wagering.

The Controversy

The Senate, on the other hand, is stalemated. After passing the House of Representatives in July of that year, two measures pertaining to sports betting have been languishing in the Joint Ways and Means Committee ever since. People in charge of allowing Bostonians to wager on the Red Sox winning a fifth World Series this century seem unwilling to budge. Regardless of the reason, they’re keeping their mouths shut about it.

At the moment, Massachusetts has just one border state — Vermont — that prohibits regulated sports betting. While the General Court initially discussed allowing sports betting only weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on May 14, 2018, it has now reverted to being a latecomer.

Will it Ever be Lifted?

The Massachusetts Legislature has been debating measures to authorize sports betting for the following number of years: Tom Brady won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, then left the club, won another with the Buccaneers, retired from sports, and then returned.

Since the Supreme Court threw down a federal statute prohibiting sports betting in 2018, 30 states and the District of Columbia have entered the market or are considering doing so. However, Massachusetts is not included.

In the state, there is no organized resistance to legalized sports betting. It is backed by all major sports teams and casinos. Governor Charlie Baker and the state House of Representatives agree, wishing to seize a portion of the money moving into neighboring states or offshore betting companies. At this point, legislators owe an explanation to stakeholders, bettors, and the broader public. Why isn’t New Hampshire, the largest state in sports-crazed New England, a legal wagering state? When will this occur? What could possibly be holding back Senate leadership when every potential stakeholder has expressed a desire for legal wagering in some shape or fashion?

“Everything is up in the air,” Judd-Stein put it succinctly.



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