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Mobile sports betting in Massachusetts launched on March 10 – making it easier than ever to make a wager.
Sports betting is already live in person at the state's casinos. Adding in mobile, we're talking about tens of millions in expected tax revenue made off the 15% tax on in-person wagering and a 20% tax on mobile betting.
But before you start placing your bets, here’s what you should know.
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To get started, you need to be 21 or older and physically in the state to make a wager.
Next, you should think about which sportsbook you want to choose – you may find some sites and apps easier to navigate than others, or like the deals being offered.
Make sure the one you pick is allowed to operate in your state – you should be able to check when you sign up. On Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded operations certificates to six operators.
Approved mobile operators
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
There are independent operators, and the state’s three casinos - MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park Casino - also have the option to offer branded mobile sports betting apps.
Once you know which sportsbook you’re going with, you’ll need to create an account. Here’s what that looks like on the FanDuel app:
After you’ve signed up, you’ll need to put money in your account so you can start making bets. You can’t use a credit card or prepaid card to make bets in Massachusetts.
And before you put down any of your hard-earned cash, make sure you understand gambling terminology and sports statistics.
It’s also important to know what state regulations – like what sports you’re allowed to make bets on. In Massachusetts, that's most professional sports, - NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NHL - and also things like swimming, volleyball, badminton and more. You can also bet on approved special events.
Now, March is NCAA tournament season, and yes, you’ll be able to bet on the tournament. But betting on regular season in-state college sports is illegal.
And don’t get too competitive at pee wee football – bets on high school and youth sports aren’t allowed. There have already been reports of issues with illegal bets being made during the casino rollouts.
The Better Business Bureau has tips before you start gambling – set limits for yourself, and avoid high-risk betting. We all know how passionate Boston sports fans are, but getting too emotional can be risky. And while everyone loves a good beer during the game, drinking too much can cloud your judgment. The BBB also suggests setting time limits for yourself. Knowing when to stop is key to avoiding losing more than you can really afford. And of course, don’t get taken in by scammers! Bogus betting websites might use tactics like pop-up ads, email spam or text messages with exaggerated offers to try to win you over.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the launch of sports betting, but if you have a history of problem gambling, it’s best to steer clear. There is a Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program that you can enroll in by calling the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line at 1-800-426-1234 or visiting the GameSense website here.
If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, you can call the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700 for help, or get online peer support at www.gamtalk.org.