The Launch of Massachusetts Sports Betting

After much fanfare, Massachusetts sports betting has finally arrived. Right now there are only three locations accepting wagers in the state, and they are all land based. But that doesn’t mean the activity will stay that way for long. Plans are that mobile betting will be live before March Madness games begin. And when that happens, rumors are that as many as eleven online operators could be accepting bets from residents.

Things have been steadily moving toward the official launch of Massachusetts sports betting ever since the legislation was signed into law by the governor in August of last year. Then by late November, the state Gaming Commission had received applications from 15 operators, although nearly 30 had initially shown interest. Wynn Resorts Encore Boston Harbor casino was given the very first Category 1 sports betting license in December.

Now that betting on sports has officially begun, the state has also initiated a voluntary self-exclusion program, where residents can “opt out” of sports bets. Residents can call or go online to opt out using the GameSense platform. They can also visit their information centers at the Plainridge Park, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor casinos.

Ironically, the self-exclusion program only applies to Massachusetts sports betting and casinos. Those who register are still able to play the lottery. So we guess the message is that problem gambling is serious and preventable, but the state should still be able to profit from it even if independent operators should not.

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