Is Gambling Legal in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts most forms of gambling is generally deemed legal. The law defines gambling as winning $5 or more through gaming or betting.
Therefore land based casinos, slot facilities, horse and dog race betting, sports betting, charitable gaming and the lottery is legal in the State.
The State law does not expressly prohibit online gambling but does prohibit commercial onshore operators. As a result, there are no onshore commercial online gambling sites. There are however, some commercial offshore operators that accept players from Massachusetts.
In a limitation to online gambling, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) prohibits financial institutions from facilitating the transaction of monies that relate to online gambling. Therefore the transfer of deposits and withdrawals to offshore commercial online gambling operators is usually inhibited by banks and credit card providers.
Land Based Casinos
Massachusetts has a highly complex suite of gambling laws that permits commercial licensed operators for land based casinos and slot facilities. The gambling laws limit the number of commercial casinos to a maximum of three casinos. Each casino must be in three different geographical locations within the State. In addition, one slot facility is permitted to operate within the State.
In order for further land based casinos to be permitted, State law must be passed by both the Senate and House regulating further land based casinos.
Casino activity is taxed at 25% of gross gaming revenue
Slots activity is taxed at 40% of gross gaming revenue
The minimum legal age is 21 for land based casinos.
The Massachusetts State Lottery holds a monopoly on lottery products. No other lottery operator is permitted within the State.
The minimum legal age for lottery games is 18 years of age.
Massachusetts gambling laws permits bingo as a form of charitable gambling. All proceeds must go to a charitable organisation.
The minimum legal age for bingo is 18 years of age.
Horse and Dog Racing
Licensed horse and dog racing betting is permitted within the State.
The minimum legal age for horse and dog betting is 18 years of age.
Sports betting remains illegal in the State. In 2019, several bills were proposed to Senate and House, with all failing to be passed. Several options were considered, sports betting at existing land based casinos, online platforms and/or sports betting windows at in state institutions.
The minimum legal age proposed for sports betting is 21 years of age.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC)
Division of Racing
Expanded Gaming Act 2011
M.G.L. Chapters 182A and 128C.