Massachusetts is set to launch in-person sports betting in the state on Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Super Bowl and well before March Madness.
In-person sports betting begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday in casinos and mobile sports betting is scheduled to begin in early March, although no exact date has yet been given. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was scheduled to meet Monday to approve certificates of operation for the state’s three casinos to begin accepting bets.
Former Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill last August legalizing professional and college sports betting, joining more than 30 other states, including several neighboring states. Baker said he supports it because state residents already travel to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut to place legal bets. Massachusetts expects to earn up to $50 million in additional revenue once everything is ready.
The US Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that the ban on sports betting was unconstitutional.
Anyone wanting to place a bet starting Tuesday will have to go in person to Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Plainridge Park Casino or MGM Springfield.
Here’s what the state’s three casinos have planned Tuesday and which former Boston athletes are lined up to visit:
Encore Boston Harbor
Legal sports betting begins Tuesday at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, the state’s largest and newest casino and also the first to secure a gambling license. The first bets will be placed in the WynnBET Pavilion Room at 10am by 32 “lucky guests” chosen for the honor. Immediately following the inaugural event, the championship winning athletes and state representatives will place the first bets in the WynnBET Sportsbook windows. “Celebrity appearances will include Sean Thornton, Ty Lowe, Matt Light, Cedric Maxwell, Eddie House, Johnny Damon, Angela Ruggiero and Massachusetts Speaker Ronald Mariano and Representatives Gerald Parisella and Aaron [Michlewitz]” the casino said. The whole thing will be led by Sean McDonagh. The Everett casino will have 10 live betting windows and more than 115 betting kiosks, most of which are available 24/7. For bettors in a hurry, the casino has and is installing 20 kiosks in an upgraded portion of its parking garage. At 6 p.m., Julian Edelman will arrive to “make his significant bet at the WynnBET Sportsbook,” the casino said.
Plainridge Park Casino
Plainridge Park Casino will begin accepting in-person sports betting for the first time at 10 a.m. Tuesday and will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. with former New England Patriots quarterback Rob Ninkovich. According to PlayMA.com, Plainridge expected to have up to 18 kiosks and five betting windows available for sports betting at a temporary sports book. Barstool Sportsbook & Restaurant is expected to open an expanded gaming space at a later date in the existing Flutie’s Sports Pub, and the casino plans to eventually expand to 20 booths and six betting windows.
Boston Bruins legend Ray Burke, Senator Adam Gomez, Representative Carlos Gonzalez and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will spearhead the launch of legal in-person sports betting at Massachusetts’ first resort-style casino, MGM Springfield. In its latest application for a sports betting license, MGM Springfield said it plans to create seven new full-time positions and six new part-time positions after receiving a sports betting license. “We are extremely excited to be turning an exclusive sports hall into a sportsbook in the near future,” MGM Springfield President Chris Kelly said last month, referring to what the casino’s betting application said was a 4,586-sq. ft. “a premier sports betting lounge with stadium seating, a 45-foot viewing wall, as well as an enclosed betting counter and betting kiosk space” near the Main Street entrance/exit. Tuesday’s program starts at 9:15am and betting starts at 10am.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.