Massachusetts State Gambling
Like many states, the only form of online gambling available in Massachusetts is online horse racing. For many months in 2011 Massachusetts debated intrastate online poker. In October 2011, the debate stopped and the idea was shelved.
A 2013-2014 budget bill included online gambling, but it also failed to pass. It would have required operators to also be brick and mortar casino owners, so even if it passed, it would have required casinos, which will not go live until at least 2014, to launch before the games could be offered.
Massachusetts has been active about expanding gambling in their state so the expansion of online gambling is sure to come up again in the future. Currently the only legalized forms of gambling in Massachusetts are horse racing, a state lottery and charitable bingo.
Massachusetts Online Poker
A rider on the 2014 fiscal year budget would legalize online poker if approved. The details of the bill may be found here. The Massachusetts Attorney General concluded that online gambling would require a state constitutional amendment. This all but killed the bill’s chances.
Massachusetts Greyhound Racing
Greyhound racing was legal until January 2010. On November 4, 2008, Massachusetts voters passed Question 3 which banned greyhound racing in the state. There was only one greyhound track in the state at the time. It was Raynham Park located in the City of Raynham. While live greyhound wagering is now illegal in Massachusetts, simulcast off track betting is still legal on greyhounds. Players can place bets in the simulcast rooms, over the internet, and over the phone. Raynham Park still accepts off track betting on greyhounds as well as horses.
Raynham Park Controversial Casino
After greyhound racing was banned, Raynham Park opened a charity poker room and casino. According to Massachusetts State Law, charity poker and casino games are allowed if held only three times a year and with prizes of $25 or less. It is alleged that Raynham Park was holding the events twice a week, paying out more than $25, and not donating all of the profits to charity. In addition to poker, blackjack and roulette were offered. When the state investigated, Raynham Park voluntarily shut down.
Massachusetts Horse Racing
There are two horse tracks in Massachusetts. Suffolk Downs is located in East Boston and Plainridge Racecourse is located in Plainville. In addition to live race betting, there is off track betting on simulcast races, phone wagering and online wagering. Wagers are accepted on both horses and greyhounds. Both horse tracks have lobbied heavily for casinos. While there have been serious talks and big steps towards racinos in Massachusetts, casinos have yet to be approved in the state.
Massachusetts State Lottery
The Massachusetts State Lottery was established in 1971. The lottery in Massachusetts offers lotto drawings, Keno, Daily Race Game, scratch off tickets and pull tabs. The Daily Race Game is a virtual horse race. Virtual horse races run every four minutes. Twelve equal weighted virtual horses compete in a race. Players try to win choosing between seven common horse track betting options. The house hold on these virtual races is 33%. There is also a Keno drawing held every four minutes. Players may purchase up to 30 consecutive Keno drawings at a single time. Players can purchase 13, 26 or 52 weeks’ worth of tickets. Payments can be made at a lottery retailer, over the phone by credit card, or with a check by mail.
Four casinos have been approved in Massachusetts. These casinos are in the planning stages. All standard casino games will be legal including slot machines, video poker, table games and live poker.
Charitable bingo is allowed in Massachusetts.