Massachusetts is home to three retail casinos, but online casinos are not legal right now. The online casino industry is live in several other northeastern states but has yet to go live in the Commonwealth.
There is, however, a legal alternative for Massachusetts residents while they wait for their state to legalize online casinos. Sweepstakes and social online casinos are 100% legal in MA. Players will find the same kinds of games, including slots and table games, that they’d find at retail casinos and real-money online casinos.
Here’s how they’re legal: Sweepstakes casinos don’t have players use real money to place bets. Instead, players use fake digital currency, and certain types of that fake digital currency — most often called “Sweeps Coins” — can be redeemed for real cash prizes.
If real money gaming is what you are looking for, Massachusetts has three casinos across the state to choose from.
We’ll keep you updated on the status of online casinos in Massachusetts, including any legislation that could expand the industry and provide more in-state gambling options.
Best sweepstakes and casino sites in Massachusetts
of Gold Coins for $10
Are online casinos legal in Massachusetts?
Online casinos in Massachusetts are not legal at this time.
Anything like BetMGM Casino, DraftKings Casino, WynnBET Casino — none of those real-money online sites are permitted in Massachusetts. Any sites advertising themselves as real-money online casinos in Massachusetts are unregulated offshore sites, which we strongly advise against using.
When will Massachusetts allow real-money online casinos?
The recent launch of Massachusetts sports betting apps and legalization of online casinos in Rhode Island could generate more interest in legalizing online casinos in MA.
But for now, there is a fully legal and regulated option to play Massachusetts online casino-style games for a chance at real money.
Promotional social casinos have players play with fake digital currency that can be redeemed for cash prizes. But because the digital currency, itself, has no real-world value, these sites are 100% legal in Massachusetts and most US states.
One of the most prominent promotional social casinos is Chumba Casino, which offers more than 100 games, including slots, blackjack, and more. Funrize Casino is also a fast-rising social casino with an excellent welcome bonus.
Updates on MA online casinos
Nearby states, including Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey, have legalized online casinos. In addition, earlier this year, Rhode Island legalized online casino and poker games, and they’ll go live in March 2024.
So, when might Massachusetts join its neighbors in allowing real-money online casinos?
Now that Massachusetts online sports betting is live, some industry experts believe that could open the door for legal real money online casinos to launch in Massachusetts in the future.
Many of the mobile sportsbooks that have launched in Massachusetts, including DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBET, BetMGM and Caesars, also offer online casinos. So, since those platforms are already licensed to offer sports betting in MA, the online casino licensing process would be streamlined.
That being said, the legalization of the online casino industry could move slowly in Massachusetts.
Latest Massachusetts casino news
What are online casinos?
Online casinos are online versions of traditional retail casinos. With online casinos, you don’t need to go to a brick-and-mortar casino to gamble and play casino games. Everything can be done through the internet.
Online casinos enable players to play and wager money on casino games such as poker, roulette and blackjack from anywhere. To access online casinos, you must first be in a regulated market.
Right now, online casinos are not legal in Massachusetts. Any gaming platform claiming to be a legal real-money online casino in Massachusetts is doing so illegally. You should avoid theses sites.
How to get started on online casinos in Massachusetts
But, if the industry should become available in the Commonwealth, all you will need to get started is an internet connection and money. Online casinos can be accessed using a computer, mobile phone or tablet.
Once you deposit money into your account, you are ready to go. Online casinos essentially work the same as in-person casinos, except you don’t have to leave your house. Simply choose your game and start playing.
Potential Massachusetts online casinos
Although we have nothing definite about a timeline for online casinos in Massachusetts, we do have a fairly good idea about which companies are the odds-on favorites to launch in the state if it becomes legal to do so. What we don’t know is how many online gambling sites MA will allow.
However, the following four platforms have proven interests and links to Massachusetts, and would likely be at the top of regulators’ lists for preferred online casino vendors.
DraftKings was founded in Boston and continues to operate out of its headquarters in Back Bay. It offers sports betting and daily fantasy sports in the Bay State. DraftKings Massachusetts also has a sort of two-for-one deal with its online casino offerings due to its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, a powerhouse in New Jersey with experience and a slew of games to boot.
MGM Resorts maintains a physical casino in Massachusetts as the owner and operator of the MGM Springfield. It seems likely, then, that a legal online casino market in the state would include BetMGM Massachusetts.
There are hundreds of slot titles of all kinds, including standard reel games, video slots and progressives like Divine Fortune and Cleopatra. BetMGM Casino has dozens of table games, including several variants of blackjack and roulette. There is an entire roster of video poker options, along with variety games like Slingo and virtual sports games to play.
WynnBET is the online gambling wing of the Wynn chain of casinos, which includes both Wynn and Encore casinos. As such, Wynn already has a footprint in Massachusetts through the Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
WynnBET’s online casino site is an example of quality over quantity. It doesn’t offer an overwhelming number of games, but each one is beautifully rendered. The site has more than a dozen variants of blackjack and roulette.
In addition, there are several other games, like Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Let It Ride and Mississippi Stud. WynnBET is also home to more than a half-dozen video poker games.
FanDuel is a familiar name to many in Massachusetts due to its daily fantasy sports contests and the FanDuel Massachusetts sports betting app. FanDuel has expanded its business dramatically into online casinos in the past few years, and a populous state near FanDuel’s own headquarters (in New York City) is likely near the top of its priority list.
FanDuel Casino is another quality-over-quantity site in terms of the number of games you can find. Instead of an overwhelming onslaught of games, there are sleek versions of popular titles like Divine Fortune, Joe Exotic and Triple Da Vinci Diamonds. FanDuel even has plenty of options for Slingo fans.
Types of online casinos
There are three types of online casinos in the US. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the different kinds, so you know what’s legal, what’s smart, and what’s available.
Legal and licensed
Currently, there are no legal and licensed online casinos available in Massachusetts. We’re talking about real-money casino sites like all the ones mentioned above.
Legal and licensed online casinos work basically the same exact way as retail casinos — just via an online platform. If (or more realistically, when) online casinos are legal in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) would very likely be the regulatory body providing oversight.
We strongly recommend against using offshore sites for a variety of reasons. Yes, they are technically not legal or illegal. But they are unregulated, and that’s what should scare you off. That means there’s no organization like the MGC making sure offshore casinos treat their customers ethically.
These offshore sites also often lack high-quality digital security, which leaves your financial and personal information vulnerable to cybercriminals. It might be hard to wait for regulated real-money online casinos, but we encourage you to do so.
Promotional social casinos
Promotional social casino sites are fully legal in Massachusetts and everywhere across the US, except Washington and Idaho. You can redeem your winnings for cash prizes on these sites. But how is it legal? Well, promotional social casinos like Chumba Casino, Funzpoints, and LuckyLand Slots have players use fake digital currency, most often called Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Once a player accumulates enough Sweeps Coins, they can redeem them for cash prizes.
This promotional social model is legal in Massachusetts because the currency used in the games has no real-world value. Although you can exchange Sweeps Coins for cash prizes, you can’t use Sweeps Coins to buy groceries.
Social casinos are regulated. The Malta Gaming Authority oversees all promotional social sites and makes sure customers are treated fairly and given their winnings in a timely manner.
Online casinos are legal in Connecticut, Rhode Island
So far, seven states have legalized online casinos. They are:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Nevada has legal online poker.
Connecticut and Rhode Island both border Massachusetts, so state regulators could be looking at the online casino industry in those states to get an idea of what they could look like in the Commonwealth.
Gaming laws in Massachusetts
At this time, no bill has been introduced in Massachusetts to legalize the online casino industry. Online casino gambling doesn’t appear to be a top priority for Massachusetts lawmakers at this time.
If and when the industry is legalized, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission would likely set the rules and regulations for online casinos.
Decisions would need to be made regarding the legal gambling age, how many online casino platforms will be allowed, advertising and promotional language, and more.
Because online casinos would give players easier access to gambling activities, the MGC would be sure to put a heavy emphasis on responsible gambling.
Retail Massachusetts casinos
While online gambling has gained popularity over the last few years, there are still plenty of people out there who prefer to gamble in person. Thankfully, there are a few options for those folks inside Massachusetts state lines.
Massachusetts is home to three retail casinos: MGM Springfield in Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. These facilities are great if you’re looking for in-person gambling options in the Commonwealth.
|🎰 Slot Machines
|🎲 Table Games
|♠️ Poker Tables
|🕘 Hours of operation
|Encore Boston Harbor
|1 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149
|24 hours a day, seven days a week
|One MGM Wy, Springfield, MA 01103
|24/7 for the casino, 10-3 a.m. for the poker room
|Plainridge Park Casino
|301 Washington St, Plainville, MA 02762
|24 hours a day, though some areas may vary
The Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 enabled the placement of casinos in the Bay State:
Encore Boston Harbor
Encore Boston Harbor is the newer of the two locations, opening for business in June 2019. The massive facility features 200,000 square feet of gambling space with more than 2,700 slot machines, 188 table games, and a poker room.
The property itself is 33 sprawling acres and features a full-service hotel, spa, salon, and more than a dozen places to eat or drink. Encore Boston Harbor also maintains a 6-acre park called Harborwalk, which features walking paths along the river, tremendous views, and connections to other nearby bike and walking trails.
The facility is partnered with WynnBET and has offered retail sports betting since the state’s retail industry launched on Jan. 31, 2023.
MGM Springfield was the first full-service casino to open its doors in Massachusetts. It opened in August 2018. Owned by Wynn Resorts, features more than 1,500 slots, 180 table games, and a poker room with 23 tables.
MGM Springfield also offers some distinct amenities. Along with a hotel, there is a Top Golf, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and an ice rink on site.
In terms of sports betting, MGM Springfield features a retail BetMGM Sportsbook.
Plainridge Park Casino
Plainridge Park Casino is a slots-only venue in Plainville. The location is in the southeastern portion of the state, making it significantly closer to Providence, Rhode Island than it is to Boston. Onsite, there are more than 1,200 slots available for play, plus a selection of video poker, video blackjack, and other electronic table games.
Plainridge Park is also the only location in Massachusetts with live racing. Harness races occur between April and November each year, and the venue hosts pari-mutuel wagering on the races.
The facility is owned by PENN Entertainment and now features sports betting through ESPNBet (formerly Barstool Sportsbook).
Potential casinos in Massachusetts
First Light Casino
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been attempting to construct a resort-style casino on tribal lands near Taunton for several years. The project, dubbed the First Light Resort and Casino, has been aiming for a 150,000-square-foot casino with 3,000 slots, 150 table games, and a poker room.
The chosen site for the project, which is near the intersection of Routes 24 and 140, would place a major casino about 40 miles south of Boston and less than 20 miles east of Providence.
The Mashpee Tribe began building the First Light in 2015, but the project has been mired in a variety of legal battles for years. Critics point to the lower-than-expected revenues at the other facilities as evidence that the market is saturated. However, the selected location for the First Light does open the possibility of substantial overflow coming from Rhode Island.
In Feb. 2023, a federal judge ruled against a group of Taunton residents who sued to prevent the casino construction.
All in all, at this point, there is no timeframe for a fourth casino in Massachusetts.
The other proposed gambling facility
Two federally recognized tribes call southeastern Massachusetts home. The Mashpee tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). The Wampanoag Tribe has chosen not to pursue a compact with the state of Massachusetts for Class III gambling on tribal lands. Instead, the tribe has sought to build an electronic bingo parlor on a vacant piece of tribe-owned land near Aquinnah.
In an echo of the situation in which the Mashpee Wampanoag find themselves, the Wampanoag Tribe has met with numerous legal challenges and roadblocks.
For a time, opponents of the Wampanoag bingo parlor found success in arguing that a 1987 land deal negated the ability of the tribe to build the bingo hall. However, the Wampanoags secured a definitive court victory to build the facility in 2017, thus clearing the way for construction to begin.
Though the tribe is clear to proceed with construction from a legal point of view, it must still secure the appropriate zoning clearances and other regulatory licensing — and the town is in charge of those documents. So, unless tribal leaders and officials in Aquinnah can come to an arrangement, the Wampanoag Tribe cannot expand Massachusetts’ gambling profile.
Types of casino-style games in Massachusetts
With three casinos in action in the Bay State, there are many types of games available in Massachusetts. The variety means that almost every person who likes to place a wager in the area should be able to find their games of choice.
Should MA online casinos become legal, the land-based versions of these games will most likely be available on the real money gambling site. Promotional social casinos usually have similar games that are equally fun to play. Here are some short descriptions of games you’ll find at Massachusetts casinos:
Slot machines are a ubiquitous sight at Massachusetts casinos. Both full-service casinos and the lone racino in the state are home to more than 1,000 machines, and the two larger properties have nearly 3,000 each. Slots are popular with casinos because of their near-guaranteed returns and with players because of their chance of a big win.
Types of slots in Massachusetts include the classic three and five-reel games and the more modern video slots. Some slots are linked and feature a progressive jackpot that can put life-changing money into the player’s pocket.
In addition to the traditional slot games, there are other electronic gambling machines available throughout Massachusetts. These machines include selections for video poker, video blackjack, video roulette, and other electronic forms of common table games. Video poker, although often lumped together with slot machines, is distinct from reel games due to the element strategy. Electronic table games are popular because they feature faster gameplay than their live counterparts and usually come with a lower minimum bet.
Blackjack is likely the most popular casino table game in the US and is certainly the most common. The game’s core mechanics are quite simple, and it offers one of the lowest house edges in all of gambling.
Blackjack players in Massachusetts can find a wide selection of tables available at either of the two casino locations. In addition, there are options for blackjack variants — notably, players can try Spanish 21, which removes the tens from the decks and comes with several side bet options.
Other table games
In addition to blackjack, other popular table games at Massachusetts casinos include:
🎲 Craps: This dice game continues to be a popular choice for table game players, and it is most likely the source of cheering inside a casino. There are myriad bets available for craps, but the core game mechanic boils down to predicting whether the two dice will add up to seven, the most common outcome, or something else.
🟥⬛ Roulette: This third member of the table game triumvirate along with blackjack and craps. Roulette croupiers spin a small ball around a bowl-shaped wheel with 38 slots, the numbers 1 through 36, and a single zero and a double zero. Players bet to predict which slot the ball will come to rest. It is possible to find a few variants of the game, including European roulette, which plays identically to the American version but with only a single zero.
🤞 Baccarat: Baccarat is similar to blackjack in that it involves drawing cards to add up to a particular number. However, in baccarat, all tens and face cards equal zero, and all number cards equal their value. The goal is to get as close to nine as possible. The two sides of a baccarat game, the player and the banker, each have specific rules to follow. What makes baccarat interesting its that a player can back either side during a hand.
🃏 Three-card poker: This game pits the player against the dealer in a contest to assemble the strongest three-card hand. Players make an ante bet, and then decide if they want to fold and surrender their ante or place a double-value ‘play’ bet to compete with the dealer. The dealer’s hand must contain a queen or higher to qualify as a hand, otherwise, the play bet goes back to the player, and the ante is paid 1:1. When the dealer has a qualified hand and the player beats the dealer, the payout is a multiple above 1:1, so it is possible to win big with this game in a short time.
♣️ Four-card poker: Four-card poker is similar to three-card poker in that you are once again trying to beat the dealer’s hand with your own. However, in this game, the goal is to make the best four-card hand. Players receives five cards from which to make the best hand while the dealer receives six cards. In addition to the ante and play bets, this game has a side bet called aces up. Aces-up offers extra payouts for four-card hands that contain a pair of aces or better.
🎢 Let it ride: In let it ride, players cooperate with the dealer, so to speak. The goal of the game is to make a five-card hand with a pair of jacks or better. The player places three equal bets on the felt and receives three cards The dealer receives two cards facedown. If the player’s hand contains a pair of jacks or better or, in some cases, you simply wish to gamble, you can elect to close the action and ‘let it ride’. The dealer then reveals the two face down cards and pays you based on the strength of the hand. However, before the action is closed, the player can withdraw one of the wagers and see one of the dealer’s two facedown cards. If there is no improvement for the player, they can pull back another bet and based on the fifth card, win or lose the lone remaining bet.
💲 Big 6: Big 6 is more commonly known for its distinctive vertical wheel, which is slotted and contains representations of various dollar amounts. Players wager on the dollar amounts and win or lose based on whether the wheel comes to rest on their chosen denomination. The game is often called, somewhat cheekily, the original wheel of fortune. In reality, fortune usually only smiles on the casino in this game.
🤠 Ultimate Texas hold’em: This is the most deceptively named table game in all of gambling due to its conflation with the poker game of the same name. However, in practice, this game has much more in common with three-card poker, four-card poker, and let it ride than its namesake. Players must post an initial ante bet and a blind bet, then check or raise as their hands dictate. Gameplay proceeds to the river on each hand, and the dealer’s hand is revealed at the end of the action.
Responsible gambling at Massachusetts casinos
When participating in gambling activities, it’s important to gamble responsibly. Gambling is supposed to be a fun activity meant for entertainment, so never bet more than you can afford to lose.
If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, be sure to check the many responsible gambling services in Massachusetts. To get started, you can call the helpline at 1-800-327-5050 to start on the path to recovery.
In addition, in Massachusetts, you can even use voluntary self-exclusion. As implied by the term, voluntary self-exclusion is when people have themselves banned from Massachusetts gambling locations or online platforms for a period of time.
During a designated amount of time, users cannot enter gambling areas of Massachusetts casinos or log into their mobile betting accounts. If they do gamble, funds are subject to confiscation. The exclusion period must last at least six months but can be longer up to a permanent ban.
If you still have questions or want more information regarding Massachusetts casinos, there are many resources:
- Massachusetts Gaming Commission
- Massachusetts Lottery website
- Massachusetts Legislature
- Massachusetts government problem gambling services website
- Responsible Gambling Support In Massachusetts
Massachusetts online casinos FAQs
Is it likely that online casinos will be legalized in Massachusetts soon?
It’s hard to say for sure. The recent launch of online sports betting may pave the way for online casinos in MA, but for now, that remains to be seen. In addition, Rhode Island, bordering Massachusetts, legalized online casinos earlier this year. That could put pressure on Massachusetts lawmakers to bring online casinos to the commonwealth.
Has an online casino bill been introduced in Massachusetts?
At this time, no bill has been introduced in Massachusetts to legalize the online casino industry. It’s likely that supporters of the idea will watch Rhode Island closely to see how that state regulates the activity.
How many states have legalized online casinos?
Seven states have legalized the online casino industry. Rhode Island is the latest state to legalize the activity, joining previous states including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. An eighth state, Nevada, offers legal online poker.
If legalized, who will regulate online casinos in Massachusetts?
If the online casino industry does become legal in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission would likely be tapped to regulate and oversee online casinos.
How old do I need to be to gamble at Massachusetts casinos?
Bettors need to be 21 years of age or older to gamble at Massachusetts casinos.
How many retail casinos are in Massachusetts?
There are three retail casinos in Massachusetts. They are MGM Springfield in Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. The facilities are great for in-person betting on games such as poker, blackjack, and slot machines. Retail sports betting is also available at all three Massachusetts casinos.