Massachusetts: The Next Frontier for Legal Online Casinos?
Massachusetts sports betting is in legal territory. The bill to allow both retail and online sportsbooks is expected to be signed into law in the coming days. Casinos, racing simulcast facilities and independent sportsbook may launch as early as this fall. A maximum of three retail commercial casinos were legalized in Massachusetts 11 years ago.
It took more than a year to pass the sports betting bill that cleared the Massachusetts legislature on Aug. 1. It allows sports bets on in-state and out-of- state college teams. Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign the bill as early as today.
Massachusetts legalized sports betting. Each casino will be eligible for one retail license and two online sports bets apps. The state's two simulcast facilities will also be able to apply for a retail and a separate mobile app. A permanent five-year license will cost $5 million, renewable for five years.
The legislation allows for one retail license and two online sports betting apps for each casino. The two simulcast facilities, Suffolk Down and Raynham Park, will be eligible for a retail licence and one online app. Seven stand-alone sportsbooks are also authorized under the legislation.
Massachusetts is expected to legalize online casinos. Mobile-only sports betting is limited to Tennessee and Wyoming. It depends on how much pressure there is to legalise online casino and how resistant there are to it.
Connecticut is the only state bordering Massachusetts that has legal online casinos. Online casinos are legal in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Massachusetts is not sure if it wants to become a legal online casino state.
Massachusetts has taken its time when it comes to expanded gambling. It took state lawmakers several years of negotiation before they authorized commercial casinos and the state’s only licensed slots facility in 2011. Plainridge Park Casino opened four years later in 2015. The first casino (MGM Springfield) will open in 2018. Encore Boston Harbor will be opened in 2019.
There are two retail casinos and a large slots facility in Massachusetts. The third casino license is yet to be assigned. There is opposition from existing gaming facilities and any future third license could impact the future of legal online casinos in the commonwealth.
Strong growth is predicted in the online gaming market. Legal sports betting in Massachusetts might help the Bay State ride that growth and broaden into authorizing legal online casinos sometime in future.
The global online gambling market is expected to grow from $64.13 billion in 2020 to $72.02 billion by 2021. The market will reach $112.09 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 12%.