Anticipating the Launch of Gambling in Massachusetts: What You Can Expect?

The big day has finally arrived! Legal online sports betting will go live in Massachusetts at 10 AM on March 10th. 

Ten books have fully passed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approval process, and seven will open their windows on the 10th. They are Barstool, BetMGM,

Caesars, DraftKings,  FanDuel and WynnBET. Fanatics and Bally are fully licensed but will not begin taking bets until May, while Betway has delayed their launch into 2024.

Online betting opens up at a terrific time in the sports year. NCAA basketball conference championship tournaments run hot and heavy this week. Selection Sunday takes place on March 12th and then March Madness kicks off on March 14th with the First Four followed by a long weekend of virtually round-the-clock college basketball. 

The Massachusetts Sportsbooks are offering generous welcome bonuses. New users at BetMGM Massachusetts Bonus Code can take advantage of a $1000 first bet offer. Sign-ups before March 10th can alternatively opt to receive $200 in bonus bets.

Seven online books is a nice number. That is more than enough to generate competition that leads to more bonuses like odds boosts and specials but not so many as to produce the chaos that state officials feared. The bill legalizing sports betting provided for 15 licenses, divided into three categories. A loophole however seemed to allow for books to get temporary licenses and open up their windows, but then potentially have to shut down soon after as they sought to complete the full approval process. 42 entities showed initial interest and it was unclear if the process would sort out in time. 

It all turned out fine as no books came in through the temporary loophole. Physical sportsbooks opened their windows in late January and have run smoothly, save for erroneously allowing some wagers on in-state college sports. The categories in Massachusetts sports betting licensing work as follows.

Category 1

These are physical casinos. Each can then partner with up to two online sportsbooks which must in turn get Category 3 approval. Three casinos have launched sports betting; Encore Boston Harbor with WynnBet and Caesars, Plainridge Park Casino with Barstool and eventually Fanatics,  and MGM Springfield with BetMGM.

Category 2

These are race tracks that can then partner with one Category 3 approved online sportsbook. There are two tracks that qualify, but neither has opened as of yet. Raynham Park was affiliated with Bet365, but Bet365 has since withdrawn from the state, citing regulatory concerns. Suffolk Downs is the other track but has no affiliation or opening date as of yet.

Category 3

Online sportsbooks get licensed here. Massachusetts allows up to seven to receive licenses without affiliating with physical sportsbooks. Bally’s, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Pointsbet have gotten untethered licenses thus far, but PointsBet has since nixed plans to open in the state, so presumably, that will free up one of these spots.

Add it all up and Bay State residents will have the seven online books and three retail locations open on Friday and three more online books on schedule to open. Two untethered licenses remain free as do three affiliated licenses.

Bay State residents aged 21 and over and physically in-state can look forward to making wagers on all their favorite teams and leagues, with the exception of in-state college teams in non-tournaments. That includes the following.


The Celtics have hit a relatively rocky stretch lately, going just 11-9 in their last 20 and ceding the top record in the league to the Bucks. They still carry the shortest title odds in the league over at BetMGM.

  • Celtics +325
  • Suns +400
  • Bucks +450
  • Nuggets +700
  • Warriors +1100
  • Sixers +1200
  • Clippers +1500

Boston is also the East favorite at +135, with the Bucks at +160 and the Sixers +550

The books all post deep and popular spreads, totals, and money lines on all the NBA games, plus quarters and a half lines. In addition, bettors will find both team and individual props aplenty. Want to wager on Jayson Tatum going for over 30 points or Al Horford hitting a certain number of 3’s? Those types of bets will always be out there.


The Bruins have run away from the rest of the league. Their only real regular season suspense is whether they set all-time NHL season wins and points records. The playoffs are another story of course as strange things often happen en route to hoisting the Stanley Cup. Boston does of course remain the Cup favorite over at BetMGM.

  • Bruins +400
  • Avalanche +650
  • Hurricanes +750
  • Maple Leafs +900
  • Devils +1100
  • Rangers +1100
  • Lightning +1200
  • Stars +1400
  • Golden Knights +1400
  • Oilers +1400

Lots of Bruins list among the betting favorites for various NHL awards. David Pastrnak has the second shortest odds to win the Hart Trophy (MVP) at +3000 but he is up against all-time great Connor McDavid having a career year and sitting at a -5000 virtual lock. Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark has by far the shortest odds to win the Vezina Trophy at -1000, with Ilya Sorokin a distant second at +900.

On individual games, money lines are the most popular way to bet on the NHL and the books have them on all the games. Puck Lines with their 1.5 goal spreads and totals get lots of play too. 


The games do not start for half a year, but there is never much of an offseason from NFL betting. Futures markets are out already on everything from Super Bowl winner to MVP to even Coach of the Year. The markets at BetMGM do not expect a big year from the Patriots. Here are the betting odds to win the AFC East.

  • Bills +100
  • Jets +250
  • Dolphins +450
  • Patriots +650

The Pats are +6600 long shots to win the Super Bowl and +4000 to take the AFC.

New England does not get much love in the individual awards futures markets either. Mac Jones sits at +6600 to win league MVP, while Bill Belichek is only +3000 to win AFC Coach of the Year. 


While Boston professional winter sports teams are league favorites, the Red Sox sit in a similar league also-ran boat as the Patriots. The Sox are +2000 to win the AL East, +3000 to take the AL pennant, and +6000 to emerge as World Series champs.

An awful lot would have to go right for Boston’s middling roster to somehow have a big year. One of those things is for Chris Sale to stay healthy and return to his elite form. He is a +8000 very deep underdog to win the AL Cy Young.

Also Japanese importer Masataka Yoshida would need to translate his power and speed production in Japan over to Fenway. Even though he is a 29 year old seasoned pro, he counts as a rookie in MLB and has the second shortest AL Rookie of the Year odds at +600, with Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson favored at +250.

Everything Else

Bay State residents will get to wager on everything else from their laptops and phones starting on March 11. That of course instantly includes countless March Madness betting markets, the Players Championship in the PGA, two important tennis tournaments, weekly Formula 1 and Nascar events, world soccer leagues and on and on. Check the sportsbooks to get the prices possible, take advantage of welcome bonuses, have some fun and hopefully turn some profits!

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