A quick Covers rundown of where and what you can bet when online sports betting launches in the Bay State this week.
Online sports betting sites can launch on Friday in Massachusetts, allowing punters to wager from the comfort of their homes or anywhere else in the Bay State.
There are, however, a few quirks players will want to know about, as legal sports betting is always a bit different wherever you go, Massachusetts included. Here are some things to know about mobile wagering before it gets going in the Bay State.
When can I bet on sports in Massachusetts?
Well, you can already, technically. Massachusetts sports betting officially began on January 31 at three casinos in the state. However, mobile sports wagering is tentatively scheduled to start on Friday at 10 a.m., barring any regulatory hurdles between now and then.
Where can I bet?
Again, you can already go to a casino if you want. Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino offer sports betting, but you must go there to wager.
On Friday, though, online sportsbooks will start taking bets via phones, laptops, and tablets. Some of them are already signing up customers.
So which online sportsbooks will be available?
The work of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and comments made by operators suggest there could be as many as seven online sportsbooks launching on Friday in the state. They are:
There are sign-up bonuses for players to take advantage of in the early days of mobile wagering. Here are some of the Massachusetts sportsbook promos.
How old do I need to be to bet?
In Massachusetts, you must be 21 or older to legally wager on sports.
How do I sign up and start wagering?
Go to one of those online sportsbooks and start filling out the forms. You’ll need some standard stuff, such as an email account and social security number. At some point, you’ll need to deposit into your account with a debit card or e-transfer. However, in Massachusetts, you can’t use a credit card to deposit.
What can I bet?
A lot. Betting markets will be available for all of the leagues you know and love, such as the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL, as well as for leagues you’ve never heard of, such as the Finnish Superpesis for pesäpallo. You’ll also be able to make the full assortment of wager types on those leagues, such as single-game bets, point spreads, parlays, totals, moneylines, in-play action, props, teasers, and so forth. Moreover, you can bet on league drafts, such as the upcoming NFL Draft, and awards, such as the Oscars.
There are some things you can’t bet on, though. Wagering on Massachusetts college teams is forbidden unless they are playing in a tournament like March Madness. No action will be taken on any sports or sporting event overseen by Russian or Belarussian governing bodies either, in connection with the war in Ukraine. Wagering on Olympic events or similar competitions in which the outcome is chiefly based on the decision-making of judges is another no-no.
What if I don’t want to bet?
You don’t have to! You can steer clear of all this sports betting stuff if you want. Massachusetts also has a program that allows you to voluntarily ban yourself from sportsbooks if you’re concerned about addiction. You can sign up over the phone (1-800-GAM-1234), online (www.gamesensema.com), or in person at a GameSense Info Center at one of the three casinos. Operators will also provide players with the option to temporarily prohibit themselves from sports betting.