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Online Casinos in Massachusetts 2020 - A Guide to Gambling in Massachusetts

The laws on gambling in Massachusetts are not as stringent for land-based gambling as those of other states in the US. Even so, Massachusetts online gambling is so far not expressly legal.

Our Online Casino Massachusetts Reviews

gambling in massachusetts

The north-eastern state of Massachusetts has a long history that dates back further than the Boston Tea Party, which led to the American Revolution. This, however, doesn’t extend to its gambling laws. Finally the state allowed three land-based casinos and one slots parlor to operate within the state as of 2011.

Right now, residents of, and visitors to, the Bay State, as Massachusetts is also known, have very limited options apart from playing at the above. These are pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, the state lottery, charitable gambling and Daily Fantasy Sport.

For those looking to play their favorite casino games online just for fun, however, Massachusetts totally allows social gambling and this can be done at a number of social casinos.

The Legality Of Land-Based Casinos & Online Casinos In Massachusetts

Massachusetts, like many other states in the US, has some very peculiar and particular gambling laws. This is both when it comes to both online gambling and when it comes to land-based gambling. In a nutshell, gambling is allowed at state-approved brick-and-mortar casinos and the one slots parlor. Meanwhile, online gambling is not allowed. The state also has also legalized the state lottery, charitable gambling, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing and Daily Fantasy Sports.

Below we take a closer look at all that is mentioned above.

Through the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011, Massachusetts finally made allowances for land-based gambling to take place within the state. Yet, while this was revolutionary for the Bay State, the law is still rather strict. In fact, the state was divided into three regions and lawmakers allowed just one brick-and-mortar. The Las Vegas-style casino can operate within each region, as well as one slots parlor in the whole state.

It took four years for the slots parlor, the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, to open, though, when it did, the fanfare and excitement was palpable. The next step was taken in August 2018, then the first land-based casino, the MGM Springfield in Springfield, started serving Region B, which covers the western area of the state. Region A (the middle of the state including Boston) joined the fold just last year (2019), when the Encore Boston Harbor, a $2.5 billion property located in Everett, started operating.

Region C, however, which includes places like the affluent Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, is still waiting for its casino. This is mostly due to the developers, the federally-recognized Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, being in court with residents over their proposed project.

Massachusetts residents and visitors to the Bay State who are not served by the facilities in the state often drive out of Massachusetts and into other states to play. Among these is Rhode Island, where they can play to their hearts’ content at the Newport Grand Casino in Newport and the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Another option is Connecticut to play at the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket or the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville.

On top of this, Massachusetts has approved a number of other gambling options. In 1971, it legalized charitable gambling following a long ban of bingo that started in the 1940s. In the same year, the state lottery was established and it’s now grown into one which is affiliated with the Mega Millions and Powerball, among others.

The state also has a long history of pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, which is completely legal even though the state has no live thoroughbred racing. Even so, between April and November of each year, the previously mentioned Plainridge Park offers live harness racing to residents. For those wondering, greyhound racing in the Bay State has been banned since 2010, when residents were called to have their say through a vote.

When it comes to online gambling in Massachusetts, things are still very shaky in the Bay State, though. While the state’s law doesn’t really mention online gambling, the concept of gambling in itself is defined as ‘winning $5 or more by gaming or betting on sides or hands of those playing, in a public place or while trespassing in a private place’. This, by its very definition, includes most forms of online casinos where you’re likely to win more than $5.

At the time of writing, it doesn’t seem like this will change any time soon, but things are slowly shifting. In 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill to legalize Daily Fantasy Sport. Like other fantasy sport, sees players using their imagination and logic to assemble imaginary teams of athletes pertaining to different sporting teams. The state also permits online pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. Additionally, players can buy season lottery tickets, which can be valid for three months, six months or one year.

The legal age to gamble in Massachusetts to play in the lottery, dabble in pari-mutuel wagering or to take part in charitable gambling is 18. To play at casinos, Bay Staters need to be at least 21 years of age.

online gambling massachusetts

Land-Based Gambling In Massachusetts Today

Looking to gamble at a land-based casino in the Bay State? Here we list the three brick-and-mortar properties where you can do so legally in Massachusetts, as well as other out-of-state alternatives.

Casino
State
Casino Games
Other Info

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainville, MA

1,200 slots
Video Poker
Electronic Table Games

Gambling age is 21+.
The only slots parlor.
The casino’s website includes online slots to play socially and legally (i.e. for no money).
Offers harness racing.

MGM Springfield

Springfield, MA

2500 Slots
23 Poker Tables
120 Table Games

Gambling age is 21+.
125,00 square feet of gaming space.
First LEED™ Platinum-certified gaming resort.
Includes cinema complex, bowling alley, skating rinks, outdoor market.

Encore Boston Harbor

Everett, MA

2800 Slots
70 Poker Tables
160 Table Games

Gambling age is 21+.
Restaurants, spa and shops.

Twin River Casino

Lincoln, RI

4,100 Slots
20 Poker Tables
100 Table Games

Gambling age is 18+.
The casino also has a sportsbook and racebook.

Mohegan Sun

Uncasville, CT

5500 Slots
40 Poker Tables
375 Table Games

Gambling age 21+.
Run by the Mohegan Tribe.

 

Laws for Online Gambling In Massachusetts

Massachusetts gambling laws have not yet caught up with the new online reality and, therefore, like those of many other states, they do not specifically mention online gambling. Having said that, the law as it stands can easily extend to refer to online gambling as it defines the act of gambling as ‘winning $5 or more by gaming’. This, sadly, could refer to practically all online casino games in Massachusetts, including slots, roulette, poker, baccarat, blackjack, craps and the lot.

The law, however, does allow residents of, and visitors to, the Bay State to gamble socially – even online. In fact, Massachusetts players can play at Zynga, Big Fish, Double Down, Slotomania and many other social casinos. These are available across the United States and which have been made available on Facebook. These can also be played on mobile devices through dedicated apps. Meanwhile, the Plainridge Casino site also runs a Play4Fun network, where both residents and visitors can play casino games online. This is a great way to get a taste of what is available at the actual slots parlor before heading there.

What should I know about online casinos in Massachusetts?

  • Online gambling Massachusetts is not directly mentioned in the state’s law. Nevertheless, the Bay State’s definition of gambling could easily extend to include playing any online casino games for real money in Massachusetts.
  • Playing at offshore-registered casinos from within Massachusetts is also not advisable, as this may still get you in trouble with the law – not to mention that your money and data may not be safe.
  • Right now, those living and visiting Massachusetts can gamble online socially, as well as dabble in pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing or Daily Fantasy Sport. Purchasing of season tickets for the lottery is also permitted.
  • A change to the law of gambling in Massachusetts in 2011 means that the state now has three brick-and-mortar casinos, as well as one slots parlor.

Gambling Laws Governing Offshore Casinos & What It Means For Massachusetts Players

Although Massachusetts law does not really mention online gambling, Massachusetts online casinos are not allowed to operate from within the state. Indeed, the only forms of online gambling allowed in the state are Daily Fantasy Sport, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, and purchasing of season tickets for the state lottery. Social gambling is also allowed, but this doesn’t really do it for most people looking to gamble in Massachusetts for real money.

Because of this, many people tend to opt for offshore-registered casinos, which are casino websites based in a different jurisdiction where such practices are legal and regulated. These are either within another state in the US or else from other jurisdictions like Malta, Curacao or Gibraltar, among others. This, however, is definitely something we do not recommend because on top of potentially being against the law, offshore-registered casinos may put you, your money, your data and your rights in peril. In fact, the state may not be able to help you if anything had to go wrong.

If you really have a gambling itch, then we recommend checking out one of the two state, brick-and-mortar casinos in Massachusetts, the slots parlor, or else a casino across the border, such as in Rhode Island or in Connecticut.

Online Casino Games For Massachusetts

Due to online gambling not being legal in the Bay State, there are no online casino games that can be played for real money in Massachusetts. This, sadly, includes the vast majority of casino games, such as roulette, slots, poker, baccarat, blackjack, craps and the rest, as well as their live versions. Massachusetts, however, does allow residents of, and visitors to, the state to dabble in Daily Fantasy Sport, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing and the purchasing of season state lottery tickets.

If, however, you simply want to play your favorite casino games without betting any real money, then social gambling is allowed, and those in the Bay State can make use of all the major social gambling sites in the US.

Payment Options At Massachusetts Online Casinos

Online gambling in Massachusetts, while not strictly mentioned in the law, is at the very best frowned upon and, therefore, we do not recommend that you do it while in the Bay State. For this reason, we do not have any data on Massachusettsans’ preferred payment options at Massachusetts online casino.

If, however, you are out of the state and in a jurisdiction that allows you to gamble online, then we recommend that you check the terms and conditions of the online casino website of your choice to make sure that the payment options available fit your wants and needs.

Online Gambling in Massachusetts

Is online gambling legal in Massachusetts?

The gambling laws of the state of Massachusetts do not really mention online gambling, nevertheless, a clause that defines gambling as ‘winning $5 or more by gaming’ can easily be extended to include this practice. For this reason, it is probably best to assume that online gambling in Massachusetts is not legal.

If you are thinking of going ahead anyway, then our advice is to check with your lawyer before potentially getting yourself into trouble with the law. Having said this, social gambling – i.e. playing online casino games without betting or winning any real money – is completely legal, and Massachusetts players and visitors to the Bay State can access the majority of online social casinos available in the US.

Can I play at an online casino in Massachusetts via mobile or tablet?

Not really. Since playing online at Massachusetts online casino is not expressly legal, then you shouldn’t do so on any device, being a PC, a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet. Nevertheless, social gambling can be done on all devices legally and safely.

What casino games can I play at Massachusetts online casinos?

Unfortunately, playing casino games – including poker, baccarat, roulette, slots, blackjack, craps and the rest – is not legal. The only types of online gambling allowed in the Bay State are pari-mutuel wager on horse racing, Daily Fantasy Sport and the purchasing of the state lottery tickets.

Is it possible to play online casino games with dollars?

When it comes to online gambling Massachusetts, no currency can legally be used. This is because there are no definite laws stating that gambling online for real money in Massachusetts is legal. If you are in a place that allows online gambling, however, then we recommend checking the information on your online casino website of choice to check which currencies or virtual currencies are accepted and if these fit your needs.

Are the Massachusetts online casinos on this site regulated?

All online casinos mentioned on this website are legal, regulated and have all the measures in place to protect you, your money, your data and your rights. Of course, since online gambling in Massachusetts is not strictly legal, the only casinos we mention here are state-approved, land-based casinos and legal social gambling websites.

Am I eligible to receive an online casino bonus at a Massachusetts Casino?

Bonuses can only be claimed in states where online gambling is expressly legal. Since, online gambling in Massachusetts isn’t so, then players cannot claim or receive any online bonuses while in the Bay State. Of course, if you are in a jurisdiction that allows you to legally gamble online, then it is best to check the website of the online casino of your choice to see what kind of bonuses (including welcome bonuses, free spins and no-deposit bonuses) are available.

How do I start playing for real money at an Massachusetts online casino?

Unfortunately, there is no way to do so in the Bay State. At the time of writing, online gambling in Massachusetts is not legal and therefore no casino games can be played for real money. Social gambling, however, is totally legal and safe to dabble in, and the best way to access these sites is to look up a social casino on Facebook or to download a dedicated app.

Which online casino payment options are popular in Massachusetts?

We have no data on this since online gambling in Massachusetts is not strictly legal in the Bay State. As always, please check the terms and conditions of any online casino you choose to play at to make sure that the payment options available work for you. This, however, is only applicable in jurisdictions where online gambling is permitted; Massachusetts is not one of them.

What is the legal gambling age in Massachusetts?

To take part in the state lottery, charitable gambling or in pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing, Massachusetts residents need to be at least 18 years of age. For casinos and Daily Fantasy Sports, however, players need to be at least 21 years old.

Do I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in Massachusetts?

While online gambling in Massachusetts is not legal, gambling at brick-and-mortar casinos, the state lottery, charitable gambling, pari-mutuel wagering (even online) and Daily Fantasy Sports are. Residents and part-year residents who win at any of these need to include their winnings (cash or the market value of non-cash prizes) in their federal gross income. Visitors, meanwhile, are also taxed on gambling and lottery winnings that are derived from Massachusetts sources, including from land-based casinos and slots parlors, the lottery, multi-jurisdictional lotteries if the ticket is purchased in Massachusetts, pari-mutuel wagering paid for in the state, and any other wagering transactions performed in the Bay State.

Stay Safe and Follow the Law if you’re looking to Online Gambling in Massachusetts!

We hope this has answered all your questions regarding online gambling in Massachusetts. As always, we urge you to follow the law of the jurisdiction you are in and to never wager more money than you can afford to lose. Good luck!