Players living in the state of Massachusetts have long since relied on neighbouring state Connecticut to provide them with a spectacular land-based casino experience. For years, the Bay State has not moved a single step forward in terms of gambling options, only providing its residents with horse racing (pari-mutuel wagering) and lotteries to provide some form of entertainment. Under the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011, the casino scene within Massachusetts changed dramatically when three new commercial casinos were able to open their doors, along with a slot parlor. Aside from commercial and tribal casinos, Massachusetts also offers casino cruises for patrons which are used as a loophole to circumvent federal law.
Online Casino and Gambling in Massachusetts
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts can be classified as one of the more progressive states when it comes down to regulating online gambling. Together with states like Pennsylvania and Delaware, the state has chosen to regulate the market with a slow and steady pace, slowing letting people get accustomed to the new liberties.
Should online gambling suddenly be readily available, it would pose a significant responsibility on the government of Massachusetts to make sure people will not fall into gambling addiction, hence the slow development. With the coming into effect of the Expanded Gaming Act bill, the government has already paved the way to a vibrant land-based casino environment, with online gambling in the United States being sure to follow in the near future.
Land-based Casinos in Massachusetts
As stated above, the Expanded Gambling Act of 2011 has allowed for several new commercial casino to be established, as well as a slot parlor. This has allowed the residents of Massachusetts more room for choice and they do not need to go through the trouble of crossing the state border to Connecticut to visit a land-based casino. The Bay State currently has 4 land-based casinos with one being still under construction, as well as a several casino cruises that takes gamblers outside of federal waters.
With the MGM Springfield Casino Resort having been opened in August 2018 and costing a whopping $950 million, Massachusetts seems dead-set to become a hospitable and luxury hub for gamblers for all over the country.
Casino Cruises in Massachusetts
One features that sets Massachusetts apart from other states is the fact that is offers casino cruises. While not directly legal, the cruises sail out of federal waters where gambling restrictions do not apply anymore, giving patrons the opportunity to participate in all forms of table games and slot machines which were previously restricted.
However, while patrons who board the casino cruise ships have the freedom to gamble, the quality and service at these cruise ships are debatable, often being compared to “booze cruises” and poor facilities.
Online Poker and Poker Rooms in Massachusetts
Skill-based games have already made a breakthrough within the states of New Jersey and Delaware, which lead to Massachusetts also taking an interest in regulating the market. Not only would it be a positive driving force for incoming tax revenue, it will also prevent dodgy and unlicenced underground poker rooms.
he Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby has expressed interest in speeding up the process of making poker and online poker legal within the state’s borders, claiming that the state needed it. Although a multi-year endeavour, Massachusetts is certainly on the right track.
For now, avid poker players will have to venture to neighbouring Connecticut should they wish to participate in poker tournaments.
Is Sportsbook Legal In Massachusetts?
With the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 being cleared by the Supreme Court in May 2018, the road is open for legal sports betting all throughout the the US. However, Massachusetts does not seem to be inclined of moving towards that direction any time soon. People seem to be still content with the parimutuel wagering on horse and dog racing at so called racinos.
While many are in favour of legalising sportsbook, there simply seems to be a lack of motivation to implement the right course of action and funding towards opening up the market. Perhaps once more clear roadmaps are in place and the current casino developments have finished, it will be time to look towards sports betting and its future.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Massachusetts
In July 2018, the Massachusetts lawmakers have decided that Daily Fantasy Sports are legalised within the state. This is great news for operators such as Draft Kings, which are located within Boston itself. DFS operators are now allowed to offer contest and cash prizes to their players without getting trouble with the federal law.
The good news is that the lawmakers are not looking to reverse this decision any time soon and Daily Fantasy Sports are here to stay in Massachusetts.
Lotteries In Massachusetts
Massachusetts is one of the many states that has a state-owned lottery and provides players with lottery tickets and scratch cards. Players can choose from in-house draw games such as The Numbers Game, Keno, Jackpot Poker, Mass Cash and Megabuck Doubler.
People living in Massachusetts can also enjoy multi-state and international lotteries such as Lucky for Life, Mega Millions and the ever-popular Powerball.
Minimum Legal Age To Gamble In Massachusetts
With Massachusetts having a long-standing history of being forward-thinking and valuing freedom above all else, the minimum age to participate in gambling activities such as horse and dog race betting is low at 18. The same goes for bingo and lottery games, where players also need to be a minimum of 18 years of age in order to purchase a ticket.
Players who wish to enter a land-based casino must always be at least 21 years of age.
Gambling a bit too much and need help?
The main authoritative body to concerns itself about the well-being of players is the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, founded in 1983. The councluide provides public awareness, education and guidance to problem gamblers.
If you live in Massachusetts and are in need of help, you can contact the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling on 1-800-426-1234.
A Final Word on Gambling in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is one of the more forward-thinking and rapidly developing states within the US when it comes down to making decisions based on gambling. The state and its lawmakers genuinely believe that regulating gambling activities is good for the economy, given the massive amount of tax revenue it can generate. With the legalisation of Daily Fantasy Sports and the establishment of several high-end land-based casinos, the state is now looking into online gambling and sportsbook. If the additional land-based casinos prove to be fruitful, then Massachusetts will move rapidly into legalising all forms of gambling, giving Americans the same freedom as their European peers.