Sports betting finally live in Massachusetts with retail launch at state’s three casinos

The wait is finally over: sports betting is live in Massachusetts. Retail wagering on sporting events kicked off Tuesday, marking the end to a long wait for bettors and the finish line for state officials that worked on setting up the industry. In-person betting launched at the state’s three casinos: Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville and MGM Springfield.

MGM Springfield hosted a number of leaders during its launch, including Sen. Adam Gomez, Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque. The casino is offering what it describes as a 4,586-square-foot “first-class Sports Wagering lounge with stadium seating, a 45ft viewing wall, as well as an enclosed wagering counter and space for wagering kiosks.”

The state’s first wager was placed at the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge by Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, claims the MGM Springfield casino. “Yet another first for our city of Springfield (the City of Firsts) and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This has been a long time coming and brings yet another chapter of innovation to enhance the operations and development at MGM Springfield,” Sarno said.

“The BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Springfield is a phenomenal sports betting hub designed for New England’s passionate sports fans,” added BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “Today is a monumental step for BetMGM and sets the stage for us to deliver a best-in-class sports wagering experience across Massachusetts.”

BetMGM's Adam Greenblatt

At Encore Boston Harbor, betting became available at the WynnBET Sportsbook Windows, where at 10 a.m. 32 guests were chosen to place some of the first legal sports wagers in the Bay State. Bettors were joined by former Boston sports legends including Johnny Damon, Matt Light, Ty Law, Shawn Thornton, Eddie House, and Cedric Maxwell, among others. The property offers 10 live betting windows and more than 115 betting kiosks, available 24/7.

Lastly, Plainridge Park Casino launched sports betting at 10 a.m., hosting afterwards a celebration ceremony at 1 p.m. The property is expected to have up to 18 kiosks and five betting windows available for sports wagering at a temporary sportsbook, ahead of the opening of a future permanent amenity.

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners traveled across the state Monday to check on the new sports books and give them the final go-ahead. Casino officials say they have been in anticipation of this day for a long time and are thankful for those who helped make it happen.

Bettors ready to place the first wagers at WynnBET Sportsbook

“We are just so incredibly grateful to the state delegation for pushing us to the finish line and paving the way for opening day,” said Beth Wrd, Director of Community Affairs at MGM Springfield, as reported by WHDH.

People in Massachusetts will be able to bet on a variety of sports and competitive contests and entertainment events, such as the Academy Awards. The wagering expansion is expected to bring in about $50 million dollars in annual revenue to the Bay State once everything is up and running, reports Associated Press.

The road to legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts was not without its hurdles and delays. While the Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning sports betting in May 2018, it took until August 2022 for the state legislature to approve a gaming plan, with efforts in between failing to reach the finish line.

The launch of retail sports betting is set to be followed by the debut of mobile sports wagering in March, when people will be able to gamble through betting apps. While the month has been confirmed, an exact date has yet to be given for when mobile betting will begin.