WORCESTER, Mass. - On Tuesday, sports betting opens up in Massachusetts, and anyone 21 and over will be able to head to one of the state's three casinos to place a bet in person.
What You Need To Know
- Sports betting officially launches in Massachusetts on Tuesday
- Spectrum News 1 spoke with a local economics professor about the rollout
- Bets will only be allowed at the state's three casinos
- Mobile betting is expected to launch in March
Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson said it was almost inevitable Massachusetts would reach this point eventually.
"Pretty much since the Supreme Court overturned the previous ban in 2018, people have been looking at this," Matheson said. "I think people are actually a little surprised it took Massachusetts this long."
All of Massachusetts' neighboring states with the exception of Vermont have legalized sports betting. Matheson said the incentive to do so has only grown since 2018.
"There's a lot of money to be made," Matheson said. "There are literally billions of dollars in sponsorship money on the table if you can legalize gambling, plus the more people that gamble, the more people might be interested in tuning into the games."
Despite those external pressures, Matheson said it was important for the state to do its due diligence in assessing the risks of green-lighting sports betting, with corruption at the top of the list. That's why bettors will notice some restrictions if they're looking at college games.
"There is the problem of potential corruption associated with gambling," Matheson said. "Remember here in Massachusetts, Boston College had the point shaving scandal back in the 1970s. You won't be able to bet on Massachusetts colleges during the regular season."
Tournaments like March Madness or the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament featuring Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, are open for bettors.
While people will be able to place bets at MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park Casino on Tuesday, mobile betting won't be available until at least March. No date has been set for its release.
Still, casinos are doing all they can to try and draw bettors in. Encore Boston Harbor will even have a kiosk in the parking garage. MGM Springfield, meanwhile, will have Bruins hall-of-famer Ray Borque on hand when bets begin at 10 a.m.
Tax revenue allocation from legal sports gambling in Massachusetts will go toward the state's general fund, workforce investment trust fund, gaming local aid fund, youth development and achievement fund and the public health trust fund.