Are Online Casinos Legal in Massachusetts?
Yes and no. Massachusetts doesn’t regulate real-money online casinos.
Its laws don’t explicitly ban internet gaming. However, no reputable online casino will touch the Bay State until regulation happens.
In the meantime, social casinos and sweepstakes sites are legal in the state. They’re acceptable because they don’t involve wagering money to win money.
As you’ll see below, both types of casinos share similarities:
- Social casinos (e.g., Zynga Casino, Big Fish Casino)
- Feature online casino games like slots, blackjack, and roulette.
- Give you free coins for signing up.
- You use these coins to earn achievements.
- You can share your achievements through social media.
- Sweepstakes casinos (e.g., Chumba Casino, LuckyLand Slots)
- Also offer common internet casino games.
- Provide you with free coins for registering as well.
- You use the coins to earn sweepstakes entries, which can lead to prizes.
- Sweepstakes casinos offer other promotions that allow you to earn entries and prizes.
Land-based Casinos are the Main Option right now
Social and Sweepstakes casinos provide a chance to enjoy your favorite casino games online. However, land-based gaming establishments are by far the most popular way to gamble in Massachusetts.
The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 cleared the way for Massachusetts to build three Vegas-style resorts and a slots parlor.
Additionally, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe are developing casinos in the state.
Active and planned brick-and-mortar casinos in Massachusetts:
- Active casinos
- Encore Boston Harbor casino (Everett - Wynn Resorts)
- MGM Springfield casino (Springfield - MGM Resorts International)
- Plainridge Park slots parlor (Plainville - Penn National Gaming)
- Future casinos
- Aquinnah Gaming (Aquinnah - Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head)
- Project First Light (Taunton - Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe)
Founded as a racetrack in 1999, Plainridge Park opened its slots parlor in 2015, becoming Massachusetts’ first casino.
MGM Springfield opened its doors in 2018. The $1 billion casino features 2,550 slot machines and 120 table games.
A $2.6 billion project, Encore Boston Harbor launched in 2019. It’s the state’s largest casino with 2,800 slot machines and 165 table games.
The Expanded Gaming Act calls for a third Vegas-style resort. However, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is contesting this resort over their desire to build a $1 billion casino near the proposed site.
Will Massachusetts Legalize Online Casinos?
Massachusetts’ earlier efforts to regulate internet gambling revolved around online poker. A lawmaker has introduced a poker bill every year since 2014.
Lately, politicians are more interested in regulating retail and online sports betting. State Sen. Joseph Addabbo currently has betting legislation pending at the committee level.
MA lawmakers are most focused on legalizing internet sports gambling. On a lesser level, they’re also interested in online poker.
For whatever reason, internet casinos are on the backburner. The legislature hasn’t put any online gaming bills on the table.
Gaming sites’ best chance for becoming legal in Massachusetts includes being attached to a sports-gambling bill. If this happens, we estimate that MA online casinos will become legal by 2022 at the latest.
If gaming sites are in a standalone bill, it will be far less likely to pass. In this case, Massachusetts online casinos might not become legal until 2025 or later.
What would an MA Online Casino Market look like?
The Bay State seems far off from regulating internet gaming. If it does legalize the activity, we predict the legislation will include all or most of the following provisions:
- Gamblers must be 21 years of age or older.
- Online operators must partner with a land-based casino.
- Each brick-and-mortar casino could offer up to three skins.
- Licensing fees of $50,000 to $100,000 (estimation).
- Operator tax rate of 8% to 12% (estimation).
Plenty of online casinos would come calling if Massachusetts regulated iGaming. Potential operators that would apply for licensing include:
- Virgin Casino
What MA Online Casino Games would be available?
With nearly 6.9 million residents, Massachusetts is one of the most populated states. Therefore, operators would provide many games to satisfy this large population.
Slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker would assuredly be available in this market. Other table games and live-dealer gaming could also appear.
Massachusetts Online Slots
Prominent online slot developers would surely serve the Bay State. Bally, High 5, IGT, Konami, NetEnt, and WMS are notable providers in other markets.
They’d likely bring the same games to the MA market. Popular games from these developers include:
- China River
- Hot Shot Progressive
- Quick Hit
- Triple Cash Wheel
- Wonder Woman Gold
- High 5 Games
- Diamonds of Athens
- Golden Knight (I & II)
- Jaguar Princess
- Thundering Buffalo
- International Gaming Technology (IGT)
- Coyote Moon
- Kitty Glitter
- Siberian Storm
- Wheel of Fortune on Tour
- Chili Chili Fire
- China Shores
- Imperial Wealth
- Wealth Monkey
- Aloha Cluster Pays
- Blood Suckers
- Dead or Alive (I & II)
- Gonzo’s Quest
- Mega Fortune
- Williams Interactive (WMS)
- Amazon Queen
- Bier Haus
- Giant’s Gold
- Raging Rhino
Blackjack & Roulette
Blackjack is the most popular online table game in other markets. It’s available in several variations at many regulated gaming sites.
Common variations available in other states include:
- Blackjack: First Person
- Blackjack Pro
- Blackjack Xchange
- Multi-hand blackjack
- Vegas downtown blackjack
Roulette is also highly popular in online gaming. American roulette and European roulette are the most common variants.
The details of these games are:
- American roulette
- 38 pockets
- Single- and double-zero pocket
- 5.26% house edge
- European roulette
- 37 pockets
- Single-zero pocket
- 2.70% house edge
Other Table Games
MA online gaming could offer most or all of the following table games:
- Caribbean stud
- Casino hold’em
- Dream Catcher: First Person
- Let It Ride
- Pai Gow poker
- Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker
- Three-card poker
Live Dealer Daming
Live-dealer casino games let you enjoy brick-and-mortar gambling through a mobile device. Possible live-dealer games in Massachusetts would be:
- American roulette
- Casino hold’em
- Dream Catcher
- European roulette
- Infinite Blackjack
- Three-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Both Game King and Regal provide video poker variations to many states. Therefore, the Bay State might offer the following online video poker games:
- Bonus Poker - Game King
- Double Bonus Poker - Game King
- Double Double Bonus Poker - Game King
- Jacks or Better - Game King
- Deuces Wild - Regal
- Double Poker - Regal
- Double Double Poker - Regal
- Jacks or Better - Regal
- Joker Poker - Regal
Massachusetts Mobile Casino Apps
Every MA internet casino would undoubtedly offer Android and/or iOS apps. After all, online gaming revolves around smartphones today.
What would the download process be like?
Google Play (Android) and Apple (iOS) maintain different policies on internet gambling. Therefore, the process of downloading Massachusetts Android and iOS casino apps would differ.
Here are the details on each download method:
- Android download
- Google Play doesn’t allow real-money casino apps.
- You’d obtain the app directly from an MA online casino’s website.
- You’d look for the Android icon and follow download instructions after selecting it.
- iOS download
- iOS allows real-money casino apps.
- You’d obtain the app from the App Store.
- You’d search for the casino in question and download the app.
How would registration work?
Each state features the same basic registration process. You choose a “Sign Up” or “Join Now” prompt on the homepage to get started.
The casino then asks you to fill in the blanks. Common requested information includes your name, email, mailing address, phone number, Social Security number, and bonus code (if applicable).
After completing the form, you need to agree to the casino’s terms and conditions and submit it. The gaming site should provide instant approval.
Deposits & Cashouts at Massachusetts Online Casinos
The Bay State would probably offer the same banking methods as other states. These deposit and withdrawal options would likely include online and in-person methods.
- Cash: You visit a Massachusetts land-based casino and fund your account in person.
- Credit card: Instantly fund your account with Visa, Mastercard, or another card.
- E-check: You transfer money from your bank to an internet casino.
- E-wallet: Neteller, PayPal, and/or Skrill would be available in the Bay State.
- Play+: A prepaid card that lets you place deposits.
- PayNearMe: You go to a 7-Eleven and deposit in person.
- Cash: You could visit an MA brick-and-mortar casino to cash out.
- E-check: Move funds from the online casino back to your bank account.
- E-wallet: E-wallets serve as withdrawal methods as well.
- Paper check: Request a check from an internet casino.
- Play+: Transfer funds back to your prepaid card.
You’d need to use the same deposit and withdrawal option. If you fund an account with Play+, for example, you’ll need to cash out with this prepaid card as well.
Massachusetts Online Casino Bonuses
Massachusetts would certainly feature a solid variety of casino bonuses. Likely offers in an MA internet-gaming market include:
- Cashback: You receive a percentage of your losses back for a specific period (e.g., seven days).
- Free spins: These spins that let you accumulate winnings through real-money slots.
- Loyalty rewards: You pick up rewards based on how much you gamble.
- Match-deposit bonus: The casino matches your deposit up to a given amount.
- No-deposit bonus: You complete registration and receive a bonus.
Each bonus would come with terms and conditions. You’d need to satisfy T&Cs before withdrawing the money.
FAQs on MA Online Casinos
The Bay State doesn’t offer legal real-money online casinos. However, it does allow social and sweepstakes gaming.
The latter casino types don’t offer real-money gaming. Instead, they give you free coins that you can use to win achievements or sweepstakes entries.
Massachusetts requires you to be 21 years old to gamble in its casinos. You’ll likely also need to be 21+ to play at MA internet casinos if they become legal.
No. The Bay State doesn’t regulate any form of online gambling nor feature sports betting—DraftKings’ specialty.
If Massachusetts does legalize internet casinos, though, then DraftKings could be one of the first licensees.
Yes. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) would oversee a potential online gaming market. It would review applications, approve online casinos, and monitor licensees.