Exclusive: 187K Out-Of-State Accounts Have Tried To Bet In MA Market

Written By Connor Grootenhuis on April 24, 2023 - Last Updated on August 24, 2023
Out-of-state bettors trying to make accounts and bet in Massachusetts, from playma.com

Since the launch of online sports betting in Massachusetts, nearly 187,000 accounts from neighboring states have tried to access the legal Massachusetts market.

That’s according to an exclusive report provided to PlayMA from GeoComply, the leader in device and location-based fraud detection in online gaming.

Sports betting apps in Massachusetts have been live for over a month, and six sportsbooks are now available in the Bay State. GeoComply compiled data from 10 a.m. ET on March 10 through 11:59 p.m. ET on April 9.

Here’s a breakdown of the specific findings, including how many out-of-state bettors actually crossed state lines to place legal sports bets in Massachusetts.

Over 1.4 million blocked geolocation transactions

In total, 186,872 accounts attempted more than 1.4 million geolocation transactions from outside Massachusetts state lines. A geolocation transaction happens at several points during use of a sportsbook app, including during registration and while trying to place a bet. These nearly 187,000 accounts were not permitted to wager.

Blocked transactions from Maine, Vermont

Massachusetts shares a border with several different states. Of those states, only Vermont and Maine don’t yet have legal sports betting. (Well, it’s technically legal in Maine, but the state hasn’t licensed any sportsbooks. And Vermont lawmakers are currently considering a sports betting bill.)

From March 10 to April 9, GeoComply identified more than 27,000 transactions from over 4,400 player accounts located in Maine attempting to access the Massachusetts market.

In Vermont, more than 16,000 transactions from nearly 3,000 player accounts attempted to bet in the Massachusetts market.

Maine sports bettors trying to bet in Massachusetts, from playma.com

How many bettors actually crossed state lines to bet?

Sports bettors do not need to be Massachusetts residents or have a Massachusetts license to bet on sports in the Commonwealth. Because of this, some took advantage of the short drive and made the trip to Massachusetts to place their wagers.

In total, GeoComply found 3,441 bettors who crossed into Massachusetts territory to place a sports bet.

Broken down by state:

  • Rhode Island – 1,761 bettors
  • New Hampshire – 1,266 bettors
  • Connecticut – 334 bettors
  • Vermont – 33 bettors
  • Maine – 28 bettors
  • New York – 19 bettors

These users first attempted to access a MA legal betting app from a neighboring state, then traveled to MA and successfully logged in to their accounts.

Rhode Island, New Hampshire bettors want options

It may be surprising to see the most bettors from Rhode Island crossing the border to bet, when sports betting is legal in Rhode Island. However, there is only one sportsbook app available in the state.

Sportsbook Rhode Island, a collaboration among the Rhode Island Lottery, IGT and William Hill, is the only option for Rhode Island residents who want to legally bet on sports. Backed by William Hill, it’s a fine product. But if a bettor in Rhode Island wants to shop for lines or take advantage of multiple sign-up bonuses, they can’t in their home state.

So … they might hop in their car, download a few apps and use some Massachusetts sportsbook bonuses.

It’s a similar story in New Hampshire, where the second-most bettors came from to gamble on Massachusetts apps. DraftKings has a monopoly there. If New Hampshire residents want options, it’s clearly convenient for a handful of them to drive down to MA to get those options.

Pay attention to population centers

These numbers also make a lot more sense when you consider population centers near the Massachusetts border.

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, with a population of nearly 200,000, sits about 10 minutes from the MA border. Heck, many Providence residents actually work in Massachusetts. Driving a few minutes to a coffee shop or sports bar to place some bets is by no means a tall task.

New Hampshire’s two biggest cities, Manchester (114,730) and Nashua (90,659), are in the southern region of the state and are 25 and 10 minutes from Massachusetts, respectively.

And even though Connecticut has three apps in DraftKings, FanDuel and SugarHouse, Hartford (120,576) is just 20 minutes from Massachusetts. That’s not a far drive for someone who wants to double up on DraftKings or FanDuel welcome bonuses, or to try out BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook or WynnBET.

Meanwhile, even though Vermont and Maine both don’t currently have sports betting, those states have no major population centers near the Massachusetts border. So those states having significantly fewer border-crossing bettors makes sense.

Out-of-state bettors gambling in Massachusetts, from playma.com

Why does all this matter?

Reports like the one GeoComply provided for PlayMA illustrate the importance of competition, access and regulation in the US sports betting market.

Competition is vital because it gives customers the best experience. If a company owns a monopoly, it is less motivated to keep innovating. From the GeoComply data, residents in Rhode Island and New Hampshire — where there are sports betting monopolies — clearly want more options.

That then brings us to access and regulation, which go hand in hand for sports betting. If gamblers don’t have access to legal, regulated sportsbook apps, they often turn to unregulated offshore gambling sites. These sites known to cheat their customers out of money and use poor security systems, leaving bettor data vulnerable to hackers. In addition, these sites take in boatloads of money that could have gone into state coffers instead.

How GeoComply works

GeoComply is the geolocation company most US sportsbooks use to verify bettors’ locations.

It utilizes geolocation technology to ensure compliance with federal and state laws requiring players to be in legal online gaming jurisdictions. GeoComply also uses ID verification technology that confirms the age and identity of players.

All in all, GeoComply helps protect players and operators from fraud.

More information about GeoComply and what data tells us about MA sports betting:

Photo by GeoComply
Connor Grootenhuis Avatar
Written by
Connor Grootenhuis

Connor Grootenhuis is the Managing Editor for PlayMA covering all things gambling and sports betting in Massachusetts. Based in the Bayou State of Louisiana, he is a lifelong sports fan who believes that every loss is a bad beat and every win is easy money.

View all posts by Connor Grootenhuis
Privacy Policy