Latest Massachusetts Casinos Updates
Real-money online casinos may be legal in neighboring Connecticut and other states, but they are not yet available in Massachusetts. However, there are alternatives in the form of social casinos in Massachusetts that allow you to legally play online casino games for free.
Although online casinos are not yet legal, be sure to claim Massachusetts betting promos from legal sportsbooks, now valued at thousands in bonus bets and other promotions.
Massachusetts Online Casino Laws
- ✔️ It is not legal to play at any real money online casino in Massachusetts. The exception is social casinos also known as sweepstakes or free-to-play casinos.
- ✔️ There is currently no legislation to outline the regulation and licensing of online casinos.
- ✔️ Momentum toward the legalization of online casinos began in 2018 when Massachusetts legalized daily fantasy sports with the passage of S 2273. This was a critical step in garnering support for the future legalization of sports betting and online casinos.
- ✔️ The legalization of sports wagering through bill H 5164 strengthens the possibility of Massachusetts online casinos in the future, though there has been no substantial progress made.
Can I Gamble Online in Massachusetts?
There are certain forms of online gambling in Massachusetts that residents can enjoy already. Horse racing and daily fantasy sports are a way of life here - hardly surprising, given that some gaming companies are headquartered in Boston. The people of the Bay State can play the state lottery from the age of 18, and they are also welcome to engage in pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.
Massachusetts became the latest state to legalize online sports gambling in August 2022, with Massachusetts sports betting apps and sites going live in early 2023. As things stand, you cannot legally play online casino games here - it will be fascinating to see if the advent of legal gambling online on sports heralds new efforts to launch online casinos in Massachusetts too.
Are Massachusetts Online Casinos Legal?
No, Massachusetts online casinos are not legal, though social casinos are legal and allow gamblers to enjoy online casino games for free.
Now, that could change over time as online sports wagering legislation has been the gateway to opening online casinos in other states, though there is no guarantee.
There has generally been opposition to online casinos in most states over fears of problem gambling and cannibalization of incumbent casino gambling operations.
For now, your best chance at playing online casino games is with BetRivers.net Massachusetts.
Who Would Offer Massachusetts Online Casinos?
There are a handful of companies that are expected to offer online casinos in Massachusetts, if and when made legal. The obvious choices are the online brands that are partnered with the three full service casinos in Massachusetts - BetMGM (MGM Springfield), WynnBET (Encore Boston Harbor), and Barstool (Plainridge Park Casino).
It's also expected that Massachusetts-based DraftKings and fellow DFS operator FanDuel would also offer online casinos in the state.
What Online Casino Games Would be Available in Massachusetts?
The typical collection of online gambling games are expected to be available to Massachusetts gamblers if and when made legal. Those include slot machines, table games, video poker and live dealer games, among others.
For now, the majority of those games found on real-money online gambling sites can be found at social and sweepstakes casinos. You can find more information about sweepstakes casino sites below.
Free to Play Online Casinos in Massachusetts
There are free-to-play online casinos in Massachusetts. Some of these operate in a gray area, while others are owned and operated by reputable companies. We only recommend one online casino in Massachusetts that is free to play - Casino4Fun at BetRivers.net, which is owned and operated by BetRivers Sportsbook, a renowned US betting operator.
Social Casinos vs Sweepstakes Casinos
With a social casino in Massachusetts, you would be provided with virtual coins or tokens that are given to you by the online casino operator. These coins or tokens can be used to play various games - mostly slots. There are no actual cash winnings, though some social casino sites do offer prizes. An example of a social casino is the Casino4Fun at BetRivers.net Massachusetts.
Sweepstakes casinos incorporates an element of chance where players would get the possibility to win special coins or tokens, in addition to virtual coins or tokens, that can be redeemed for prizes, cash or gift cards.
Can I Play Free Online Casino Games in Massachusetts?
Yes, you can legally play free online casino games in Massachusetts at social or sweepstakes casinos. These sites feature hundreds of casino games, including slots by well known slots developers like NetENT, as well as table games, poker and more. These free Massachusetts casinos do not require any deposits; however, you can purchase additional coins if you want. We recommend always signing up for an account to get access to daily promotions, giveaways and other exciting offers.
How Old Do I Need to Be to Play at a Free-to-Play Casino in Massachusetts?
To play at a sweepstakes casino, or social casino, you will need to be at least 18 years of age; whereas brick and mortar casinos require you to be 21 years of age.
BetRivers.net Social Casino
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Massachusetts Online Casino Laws
As things stand, there are no online casinos in Massachusetts that residents can legally use. Indeed, it is little more than a decade since the Bay State cleared the way for bricks and mortar casinos to be established for the first time. Three such casino resorts (see below) have opened their doors since the passage of the Expanded Gaming Act in 2011.
Although the 2023 launch of another type of legal gambling in the form of sports betting suggests matters are moving in the right direction, it is not possible to estimate when the state might make casino online gambling legal. It would not be surprising to see efforts begin in this direction in the wake of a successful launch of the sports wagering market. The process could also be accelerated by the presence of legal online casinos in neighboring states such as Connecticut and, in the near future, New York.
Are there Casinos in Massachusetts?
Yes, there are casinos in Massachusetts. In fact, the Bay State is home to three full service casinos. That includes two casino resorts offering slot machines, table games and poker, while a third - Plainridge Park Casino - is known as a slot parlor, or a facility that solely offers slot machines.
The Expanded Gaming Act, which made casinos legal, envisaged a third commercial casino resort in the south-eastern corner of the state, but there have been considerable hold-ups around this project and no launch date has been decided yet. The establishments that are up and running are:
- 🏦 Encore Boston Harbor
- 🏦 MGM Springfield
- 🏦 Plainridge Park Casino
Encore Boston Harbor
Located in Everett, five miles north of the center of Boston, this is the biggest operation offering casino gambling in Massachusetts. Owned by Wynn Resorts, Encore Boston Harbor offers a luxury resort complex and boasts more than 2,700 slot machines and nearly 200 live table games, as well as a poker room. WynnBET Massachusetts is the sportsbook partner of Encore.
In August 2018, MGM Springfield was the first full service casino with both slot machines and live table games to open in Massachusetts. Although it features almost as many slot machines as Encore Boston Harbor, and has 180 live table games, it lags some way behind its leading rival among casino resorts in the levels of Massachusetts gambling interest it attracts. This casino has a partnership with BetMGM Massachusetts, which will surely help the physical location and brand overall.
Plainridge Park Casino
Plainridge Park Casino is a racino, which means it is a racing track that hosts slot machines. It is also partnered with Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts to host a retail sportsbook, though that facility is expected to be transformed into an ESPN Bet Massachusetts sportsbook later this year.
Since the closure of historic Suffolk Downs in 2019, Plainridge Park Casino is the only place where you can watch live racing action - and enjoy pari-mutuel wagering on it - at a racing track that is home to live harness racing meetings between April and November.
Gambling Games at Casinos in Massachusetts
There are plenty of games at which you can try your luck at Massachusetts casinos. Here's just a few of the most popular games that you can find at those casinos:
Taking up the majority of casino floors in Massachusetts are slot machines. These one armed bandits feature some of the most exciting games and latest technology found in the industry, with denominations from penny slots to high-roller reels at over $100 per spin. And they're easy to use! Just sit down at a slot and push a button (or pull the arm) and watch the reels spin. Encore Boston Harbor has the largest selection of slot machines at over 2,700 and Plainridge Park Casino strictly has slots at over 1,200.
One of the most popular table games, blackjack is a staple table game on any casino floor. Blackjack is played against the dealer, or the house, so you have a sense of camaraderie with your fellow gamblers at the table. Occasionally called 21, blackjack tables are seldom empty, so if you see an empty table and want to try your hand at this game, jump in a seat!
Roulette is another popular gambling game that is among the most common found at casinos in Massachusetts. These table games are typically much larger and have plenty of standing room surrounding, so there are usually only a few roulette tables on a gaming floor at any time.
And playing roulette is simple; just pick a number that you think the ball will land on and place your bet! There are plenty of other ways to play roulette, but for new gamblers it's a perfect way to start.
Craps is among the most exciting table games but it's also one of the toughest games to understand. This table game is fast-paced and requires a lot of learning, but once you grasp the basics, it can be one of the most fun games in a casino. Like most table games, you play against the house, so if you have a roller on a hot streak it's fair to assume there will be tons of cheering from the table that you're on.
Like roulette, craps tables are much larger and are usually surrounded by gamblers. So if you see an opening, jump in and get those dice rolling!
Unlike traditional table games found at Massachusetts casinos, poker pits you against other players. And both Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield offer poker rooms that will sometimes offer poker tournaments. You can check the casino websites to see the upcoming poker schedule if you're interested.
What Legal Gambling Options in Massachusetts Are Available Now?
If you want to place a bet, or enjoy other legal forms of gambling authorized and regulated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the following options are available:
Sports Betting Massachusetts online gambling on sports has been legalized launched in early 2023. Brands such as FanDuel Massachusetts took brands live earlier this year.
Horse Racing You are allowed to wager on live harness racing at Plainridge Park. Visitors there - and at Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs - can also enjoy off-track betting on simulcasts from other courses, while you can gamble online on racing through sites such as TVG.
Lottery The Massachusetts State Lottery has now been in operation for more than 50 years and offers numerous opportunities to win big-money prizes. You can play the lottery from the age of 18.
Daily Fantasy Sports Boston is the home of DraftKings Massachusetts and the nationwide company headquarters, one of the big two providers of DFS games. DFS is fully legal in Massachusetts, and huge numbers of sports fans take advantage of that fact.
Bingo Bingo is incredibly popular across Massachusetts, with dozens of venues offering the chance to play.
Sweepstakes Casinos If you are happy to play casino games without the extra edge that comes from staking money on the outcome, there are several online social Massachusetts casinos options that enable you to bet tokens on slot machines online like BetRivers.net
What Will it Take to Get Legal Massachusetts Online Casinos?
If new legislation is passed in the near future allowing online casinos to operate in Massachusetts, would these facilities launch their own mobile arms? It is impossible to say for sure; but there are reasons why this might be challenging.
One is that most of the online sportsbooks, such as Caesars Sportsbook, launched in the state in early 2023. Each retail casino is allowed two mobile skins each - will be operated by companies with long experience in online casinos in other states. That would make it hard for a retail casino to compete effectively in such a crowded market place. It is more likely that each will extend its existing partnership with a holder of one of its mobile skins to include online casino play.
While the Caesars Massachusetts promo code is now valid for a betting promotion, do not expect a casino offer anytime soon.
Also, the two biggest licensed casino resorts in Massachusetts - MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor - are owned by organizations - MGM and Wynn - that have extensive online gambling interests. It is hard to imagine that they would allow their own casinos to launch a rival online casino.
Who Would Regulate Massachusetts Online Casinos?
All forms of wagering in the Bay State are administered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
It is also the organization that is responsible for drawing up the regulations under which sports betting went live. Once that task is completed, it may be that the commission turns its attention in the near future to the possibilities presented by legal gambling games at online casinos.
Offshore Gambling Vs. Legal In-State Massachusetts Casinos
When you search online for "online casino Massachusetts", you will be presented with several plausible options inviting you to try their games. We strongly recommend that you do not sign up to play with any of them. The operators in question are all operating from outside the USA, and as such are neither licensed in Massachusetts nor subject to American law.
While technically they may claim to function in a legally gray area, the bald fact is that if you are a customer of such an operation you are at risk of losing your money. Unregulated, unlicensed firms are notorious for low standards of game fairness, and lax account security. If you find yourself in dispute with such an outfit, you will have no legal recourse.
Here's why you should avoid offshore operators:
- ❌ They have no license to operate in Massachusetts
- ❌ They are not subject to US law
- ❌ Their games do not have to conform to industry standards of fairness
- ❌ Their standards of account security may be lower than ideal
- ❌ In a dispute, you have no legal recourse.
Responsible Gambling in Massachusetts
It is important that operators of companies working in all spheres of gambling, including casinos in Massachusetts, encourage responsible gambling at all times. While the vast majority of players engage with gambling as a light-hearted and relaxing leisure activity, for a small minority it can lead to addiction, which can mean severe emotional and financial issues.
Every casino, sportsbook and company offering games such as online poker should offer in-depth resources to advise customers on how they can ensure they are gambling responsibly at all times. There should be links to local and national agencies that can offer advice and practical support. Examples of such bodies in Massachusetts are:
- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission
- The Office of Problem Gambling Services
- The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
- The Massachusetts branch of the National Council on Problem Gambling
What Does the Future Look Like for Online Gambling in Massachusetts?
The gambling market in Massachusetts is at an interesting and exciting juncture. The introduction of sportsbooks boosted the profile of MA gambling, most notably, the Massachusetts online gambling industry, and could lead to further changes in related sectors.
The impressive results being reported by the casinos Bay Staters have flocked to in the wake of the Expanded Gaming Act suggest there is an appetite for casino games here. It will be no surprise whatsoever to see efforts to launch a legal online casino market in 2024. Before long, people here could be enjoying mobile slots, live dealer table games and online poker wherever they are in the state.
Massachusetts Online Casinos and Gambling FAQ
The Massachusetts gambling scene is currently home to three locations where casino games are played. Two are casinos with commercial operations, the Encore Boston Harbor and the MGM Springfield, where a full suite of casino options are available. The other, Plainridge Park casino, is a racing track that hosts slot machines only - albeit more than a thousand of them.
No, there are no casinos Massachusetts people can currently legally visit online. There are no legislative efforts in the pipeline to change that - but the advent of legalized online sports wagering in the state may encourage fresh efforts to launch an online casino scene.
Unlike some states, where hosting private gambling events can lead to surprisingly hefty penalties, Massachusetts seems relaxed about such activities. Under state law, gambling is defined as winning $5 or more by gaming or betting. But if you hold a poker night with friends in your own home, law enforcement is unlikely to break down your door.
Yes, gambling is legal in Massachusetts. In fact, there are many forms of MA gambling that are perfectly legal. They include pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, sports betting, the state lottery, bingo, DFS, and sweepstakes casinos. There are also three full service casinos located in the state, all of which also offer retail sportsbooks.
There are presently no initiatives under way designed to add online casino wagering to the legal Massachusetts gambling scene. However, the way attitudes have shifted among Bay State legislators over the last decade suggests that that might change soon - legal mobile slot machines, table games and online poker could become a reality in the next couple of years.
The only way to play online slot games legally in Massachusetts currently is to visit a sweepstakes casino. These are operators that offer the chance to play slot machines without having to stake real money, and are a popular alternative form of gambling in states where online casino play is not yet legal.
There are several options available through the state lottery for people who enjoy this form of gambling. You can play eight types of draw games, as well as keno and big-money multi-state draws Powerball and Mega Millions. MA gambling fans can also play instant win games - also known, because of the way you play them, as scratch-offs.
Yes, you can sports bet in Massachusetts after the Bay State launched sports betting in early 2023. Both retail and online sportsbooks are allowed in Massachusetts, with in-person sportsbooks having gone live on January 31 and online sportsbooks launching on March 31. In fact, there are a handful of sports betting apps in Massachusetts.
Whether you enjoy a big win in a casino, at a racetrack or on a sports wager, you should expect to pay tax on it. The IRS views all forms of gambling income as taxable; keep a record of all your wins and losses so that you can include them in your annual tax return and pay the correct amount.
All forms of gambling in Massachusetts, except the lottery, are administered by the state's gaming commission. If and when an online casino scene is legalized in the Bay State, it will be the commission's responsibility to regulate and monitor its activity.
An award-winning contributor covering sports betting and casino gaming around the world for decades, Martin Booth is one of the most trusted voices in online gambling. From legislative updates to breaking down the top betting apps, Martin covers a gambit of topics for BetMassachusetts.com.