Massachusetts Gambling Laws 2021 ✔ Can You Gamble in the Bay State?

If you’re planning a trip to Massachusetts, there are quite a few things about gambling that you should know. According to federal law, gambling is not illegal in Massachusetts. Winning $5 or more by betting or gaming is considered wagering, and that’s why, if you’re planning on participating in gambling activities, you should know the legal gambling age in Massachusetts.

It’s also worth knowing that the MA gambling laws are regulated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), which works under state jurisdiction. Even though the gambling capital of the world isn’t in the Bay State, Massachusetts has quite an exciting scenery for games of chance! In the following paragraphs, we’ll look at all gambling activities that you can participate in.

Gambling Laws in Massachusetts – Can You Gamble Legally in MA?

Being an original colony, Massachusetts has quite a long history with gambling that goes back to the days before it wasn’t even a state. In fact, the Plymouth Rock Memorial, the Massachusetts State House, and even Harvard University were built partially from raffle and lottery revenue. This means that the Bay State has had quite a healthy relationship with gambling and the tax revenue from it. In the table below, you’ll see our overview of the gambling situation in Massachusetts.

🏢 Regulatory Body: Massachusetts Gaming Commission
👨‍💼 Legal Gambling Age: 18 for Lottery, 21 for Casino
🃏 Number of Commercial Casinos: 2
🎰 Number of Tribal Casinos: 1
📧 Gambling Taxes: At Least 5%
🤑 Annual Gambling Revenue: $810 Million
💸 Annual Gambling Tax: $230 Million

As you can see, Massachusetts’s approximate annual gambling revenue is close to $1 billion, which is a lot. However, the most impressive thing about this is that not even one of the top gambling cities in the US is in the Bay State. Unlike other states, such as Utah and Hawaii, Massachusetts is quite open to gambling, and there are many activities that you can participate in. Let’s take a look at them!

Legal Casino Games and Gambling Activities in Massachusetts

Indeed, Massachusetts isn’t Nevada, and there aren’t hundreds of gambling venues where you can play casino games, such as slots, poker, roulette, and blackjack. However, the Bay State still has a few land-based casinos that attract thousands of gamblers every week. Besides casino games, Massachusetts residents also enjoy playing bingo and buying lottery tickets. You probably know that every state in the US has unique gambling laws, and what’s available in New York might not be available in Massachusetts. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of all legal gambling activities in MA.

Gambling Activity Legal Status
🎰 Casino Games Legal
🃏 Poker Rooms Legal
🐴 Horse Racing Betting Legal
⚽ Daily Fantasy Sports Legal
🤑 Lottery Legal
💸 Bingo Legal
🙏 Charitable Gambling Legal
🐶 Greyhound Racing Betting Illegal
📱 Online Gambling Illegal (With Exceptions)
🏈 Online Sports Betting Illegal (With Exceptions)

The Massachusetts State Lottery is one of the most popular lotteries in the United States. This particular format has one of the biggest jackpots, and thousands of gamblers from the Bay State participate every week for the chance of winning epic prizes! As you might have noticed in the element above, most gambling activities are permitted by the Massachusetts gambling laws. However, Greyhound racing and betting were banned in 2009, and they won’t come back anytime soon! We’ll take a look at the online gambling laws in Massachusetts in the next paragraph!

Online Gambling Laws in Masachusetts

The online gambling laws in Massachusetts are a bit more complicated than the ones for land-based casinos. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission doesn’t regulate any gambling sites in the state, and therefore, online casinos are illegal in MA. However, just because the local government doesn’t regulate any online casinos doesn’t mean that you can’t play your favorite games at international online casinos. In fact, most of the best gambling sites for US players also accept gamblers from Massachusetts.

Online Gambling Laws in Massachusetts

If you don’t abide by the MA gambling laws, you might have to pay fees or even go to jail. However, many MA gamblers are playing online casino games and betting on sports at top offshore casinos from the comfort of their couches.

You should keep in mind that the legal gambling age in Massachusetts might not apply to the online casinos that you’re playing at. Of course, there are a few things that you need to know about choosing international gambling sites to play at, and fortunately, we’ve got it all covered in the next paragraph.

How to Choose an Online Casino Site in Massachusetts

Choosing an online casino in Massachusetts can be pretty tricky, and there are many things you should consider. The Bay State hasn’t legalized online casinos, and if you happen to get burned by a shady operator, there’s almost nothing that you can do about it. That’s why you must choose a gambling site with a good reputation and high levels of security. To help you choose an online casino that suits you, we’ve created a list of all of the must-haves for gambling sites in Massachusetts.

  • License by a Reputable Gambling Authority
  • Customer Support Services
  • Fair Bonus Terms and Conditions
  • SSL Encryption
  • Responsible Gaming Partnerships
  • RNG Certificate
  • Casino Competition Awards
  • Popular Payment Options

One might wonder what exactly is a reputable gambling authority. Some of the most popular regulatory institutions globally are the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, and the Curacao Gaming Control Board. If the operator you’ve chosen has a valid license from one of those institutions, playing at its gambling site would be safe.

For instance, most of the best USA online casinos are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and have RNG certificates by organizations, such as eCOGRA and iTechLabs. Such certificates usually show that the specific operator’s games are fair and not rigged, which is quite important, especially for real money online gaming.

Massachusetts Gambling Age – How Old Do You Have to Be to Play?

Even though the online gambling laws in Massachusetts are pretty loose, you should always make sure that you’re of legal age when it comes to casino games and wagering activities. The gambling laws around the world might be different in many aspects, but there’s something that’s almost the same no matter the country, and that’s the legal age. For example, the Massachusetts gambling age is 18 for lotto, bingo, and charitable games.

Legal Gambling Age in Massachusetts

However, if you’d like to participate in other gambling activities in Massachusetts, such as poker, pari-mutuel betting, slots, and roulette, you would have to be at least 21 years old. However, the law for the legal gambling age in Massachusetts is so strict because most gambling venues also serve alcohol. This means that if you somehow enter a land-based casino, you could also break the law by consuming alcohol. Our best recommendation is never to gamble if you’re not of legal age!

History of Gambling in Massachusetts

As we’ve previously mentioned, Massachusetts is the state that has one of the most extended relationships with gambling in the US. In fact, the first gambling laws in Massachusetts were born in 1719, primarily because private lotteries became popular. However, the government of the Bay State later realized that fair gambling laws and a national lottery could bring a lot of tax money. Harvard University is one of the best examples of using gambling tax revenue for good deeds! Below, you can find a historical timeline of the Massachusetts gambling laws.

⌛ 1719 All private lotteries were banned.
⌛ 1745 The first national lottery was created.
⌛ 1833 All lotto games were banned indefinitely.
⌛ 1934 Greyhound and horse racing were legalized, and many raceways and racetracks were established.
⌛ 1971 Lottery games were once again legalized.
⌛ 2009 Greyhound racing and betting were banned.
⌛ 2011 Casino gambling was finally legalized, but with a limited amount of gambling venues.
⌛ 2020 An attempt at the legalization of sports betting was made but failed.

Massachusetts is one of the states that has had the most law corrections regarding lottery games. It seems that whenever the lotto becomes too popular, the government decides against it. However, we believe that this won’t be happening again. Massachusetts has been trying to legalize sports betting for over thirty years, but with no success. Nevertheless, there are many popular casino games that the MA gambling laws allow in 2021.

Best Land-Based Casinos in Massachusetts

Massachusetts isn’t home to many land-based casinos. You can find only three gambling venues in the Bay State. However, all of them are excellent, and there are many casino games that you can enjoy there. The gambling venues are spread out across the state, so the chances are that there will always be one that’s within a couple of hours from you. In the table below, you’ll find useful information about the best land-based casinos in Massachusetts.

Casino Name Casino Games Accommodation Extras Address
Encore Boston Harbor Casino Slots, Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and Craps 250 Rooms Hotel, Restaurant, Sports Bar, Spa, Wedding Hall, and Retail Shops 1 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149, USA
MGM Springfield Casino Slots, Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette 600 Rooms Hotel, Restaurant, Spa, Parking Garage, Shopping Mall, Movie Theater, and Coffee Shops 1 MGM Way, Springfield, MA 01103, USA
Plainridge Park Casino Slots N/A Shopping Center, Car Parking 301 Washington St, Plainville, MA 02762, USA

As you can see, there are plenty of games that you can enjoy at the gambling venues in Massachusetts. The Bay State also has “casino cruises to nowhere,” which take you in international waters where the Massachusetts gambling laws don’t apply. However, even if you don’t leave the state, there are still plenty of gambling activities that you can participate in. Not only that, but you can also play at offshore casino sites from the comfort of your couch!

Conclusion About the Future of the Massachusetts Gambling Laws

The MA gambling laws have been changing a lot over the years. It’s difficult to predict what is going to happen next. However, there have been many attempts at legalizing sports betting, and maybe the next one will be successful. Until then, you’ll still be able to bet at sports betting platforms and enjoy real money online casino games at top offshore gambling sites.

FAQ

As our article dedicated to the gambling laws in Massachusetts is coming to an end, we’ve decided that it’d be helpful for you if we created an additional section with the most frequently asked questions about the topic. We’ve collected some of the most commonly raised queries, and we’ve had our experts answer them for you!

🤔 Is gambling legal in Massachusetts?

Yes, the gambling laws in Massachusetts enable gamblers to enjoy many different casino games. Some of the most popular gambling activities among MA residents include lottery, slots, and poker! However, you can also enjoy horse racing betting and daily fantasy sports.

✔ Are online casinos legal in Massachusetts?

Online casinos are illegal in Massachusetts. However, MA residents can still play at many offshore casino sites. The online gambling laws in Massachusetts state nothing about playing at international online casinos. However, you should make sure that you choose a safe platform to play on!

🔒 Are online casinos in Massachusetts safe?

Not all casinos that accept players from Massachusetts are safe and legitimate. Some of the operators don’t even have a gambling license. That’s why we’ve created a guide that will help you with choosing an online casino in Massachusetts. Over there, you’ll find all the must-haves that MA gambling sites should have!

🎰 What gambling games can I play in Massachusetts?

You can enjoy many different legal gambling games in Massachusetts. The Bay State has three amazing land-based casinos that are packed with exciting gambling activities. You can play slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, bingo, and even bet on horse races! However, you need to be at least 21 years old for the majority of gambling activities!

⚖ What is the legal gambling age in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts gambling age for betting on horse races and playing casino games, such as poker, blackjack, roulette, and slots, is 21. However, you can still buy lottery tickets and play bingo if you’re at least 18 years old. You can also participate in charitable gambling events while you’re 18.

⭐ What are the best casinos in Massachusetts?

The Bay State has only three gambling venues, and the best casinos in Massachusetts include MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, and Plainridge Park Casino. Each operator has a wide range of gambling activities except for Plainridge Park Casino, which doesn’t have any other games than slots.

📆 When did gambling pass in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts’ gambling history dates back to 1719. It’s safe to say that the Bay State has had many ups and downs with the regulation of wagering activities. However, according to the Massachusetts gambling laws, MA residents can play a wide range of casino games since 2011.

⚽ When will Massachusetts have sports betting?

There isn’t a sure way to tell when sports betting will become available in the Bay State. However, our hopes are up that the legalization will occur soon! In our conclusion about the future of the gambling laws in Massachusetts, we’ve shared our point of view about sports betting and what might happen.

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