Massachusetts Casinos Await Legalized Sports Betting

Massachusetts Casinos Await Legalized Sports Betting

Massachusetts casinos and the state’s gambling market could witness historical changes regarding the 1992 federal ban on sports betting, as the US Supreme Court might permit all states to legalize and tax their businesses this spring. Sports books, which are currently exclusive only to Nevada, could spark a regional competition among casinos and see many gambling companies, regulators and the industry’s patrons fight for supremacy.

One of the prominent international gambling experts, I. Nelson Rose, predicts a scenario in which the great majority of states will follow the example to approve legislation and open sports betting for passionate fans.

On the other hand, the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Stephen Crosby, is not convinced that other states will step up and try to get a piece of the action, as there are many additional issues to be handled along the way.

There are three licensed casino operators in Massachusetts, and Penn National Gaming is the most excited about the legislative changes. However, sports bets cannot generate immense profits or tax growth in a short period of time, but casinos can still remain competitive. As a matter of fact, Wynn Resorts, is already watching the court case with interest, as its $2.4 billion hotel and casino on the Mystic River in Everett is scheduled to open in 2019.

Since the US gambling industry supports only legalized and regulated sports betting, the decision remains unknown until further notice. Courts, federal lawmakers and MGC are actively cooperating with other gambling regulators to standardize regulatory requirements as seen in other jurisdictions.

To regulate sports gambling, which generates around $150 billion a year, the courts would have to outline the guidelines or strike down the Sports Protection Act, which is in conflict with the 10th Amendment.

The whole process changes the experience of sports gambling and begins to look like a trained operation, which in some countries with universal casino regulations equalizes games of chance and sports – leading undoubtedly to commercialized gambling.


“Sports gambling case has Massachusetts casinos at the ready”, Mark Arsenault,, January 01, 2018.