What’s the current legal status of casino gambling in Massachusetts? Many gambling forms are permitted in this state, but only when done in-person in licensed venues.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is the regulatory body that decides which establishments can run gambling operations. At the moment, the Commission allows only two commercial casinos in the state. In those venues, visitors can put their money on games like roulette, blackjack, and slots. On top of that, there’s one more casino where only slots are allowed.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission also permits tribal casinos to operate. However, no Indian casinos are operational as of 2020.
Sports betting is not allowed in Massachusetts; however, horse racing betting is. There are two racetracks in the state where parimutuel betting is allowed, as well as one former greyhound racing track that offers simulcast betting.
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Fun Facts About Massachusetts
Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg – this is not a mistake, it’s a real name of a lake in Massachusetts. With 45 letters, this is the longest name of any place in the county. If you’re wondering how it got its name, we can assure you it didn’t happen by someone slamming their head on the keyboard. The name actually comes from the language of Nipmuc Indians, who used to rule these lands in the past. The word translates roughly to “lake divided by islands.”
Another fun fact about Massachusetts is that this state is the birthplace of both basketball and volleyball. Basketball was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, MA in 1891. Four years later, William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, MA, which is only about ten miles away from the place where basketball was born.
With a pivotal role in the creation of some of America’s favorite sports, it’s strange that Massachusetts is not a sports betting-friendly state. Sports wagering is illegal, but betting on horse and dog races is legal in this state. It’s been like that for almost 90 years as these activities were decriminalized in the 1930s.
Gambling Venues in Massachusetts
Online gambling in Massachusetts remains illegal. Internet casinos with real-money games like online roulette or blackjack are not allowed. The only way to gamble in this state is to visit one of the three licensed venues.
Two of those are resort casinos where you can play all kinds of traditional casino games. The casinos in question are Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield. There’s also one slot parlor where no other games are allowed apart from fruit machines. It’s the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, a town near the state border with Rhode Island.
Indian gaming is allowed in Massachusetts, but at the moment, there are no operational casinos owned by Native American tribes. However, that’s likely to change in a few years’ time as two tribes are waiting for a nod from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to start constructing their casinos.
Massachusetts is the home to two racetracks where it’s possible to make parimutuel bets on horseracing and greyhound racing events. The two racetracks are Plainridge Racecourse and Suffolk Downs. In addition, there is also Raynham Park, a former dog racing track that now offers simulcast betting on horse races and greyhound races.