EVERETT, MASS. (WHDH) - Legal sports betting kicked off in Massachusetts on Tuesday at 10 a.m., with the state’s three casinos welcoming people to place their wages less than two weeks before the Super Bowl.
Legalized sports betting is a long time coming in Massachusetts. The Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning sports betting in May 2018 and former Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a bill to legalize sports betting in the Bay State in January 2019. However, the state legislature didn’t approve a plan until August 2022.
Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners traveled across the state Monday to check on the new sports books and give them the final go ahead.
Now, machines are set up and ready to go at the three sites approved to start accepting wages – Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield.
Some big names are expected to be on hand at the state’s casinos Tuesday to place their bets. Encore Boston Harbor will host several former athletes, including Johnny Damon, Cedric Maxwell, and Matt Light, who will place their bets at 10:30 a.m. Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman also plans to make a significant bet at 6:30 p.m.
At Plainridge Park, former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich will attend a ribbon cutting ceremony and place the first bet at the casino’s Barstool Sportsbook. At MGM Springfield, Bruins legend and NHL hall of famer Ray Bourque.
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.
“We are just so incredible grateful to the state delegation to pushing us to the finish line and paving the way for opening day,” said Beth Ward, Director of Community Affairs at MGM Springfield.
Gamblers will only be able to place their bets live in-casino until March, when mobile sports betting is expected to launch in Massachusetts. Betting is cash only and restricted to those age 21 or older.
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