On Friday at 10 a.m., an imaginary lever will be pulled, allowing sportsbooks to accept wagers online for the first time. Once that happens, Massachusetts online sports betting will be open for business.
When President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon in 1974, he said, “Our long national nightmare is over.” For citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the long nightmare of waiting for online sportsbooks is over.
If not a nightmare, it was at least several nights of restless slumber.
But wait: Before flipping your fingers over the screen of your mobile phone to place wagers, consult this checklist to make sure you have your fowl in a row.
Our guide to the Massachusetts online sports betting launch has everything you need to prepare. We list what you need have in your possession, and explain how to approach Massachusetts sports wagering like an expert. Once you go through this checklist, you’ll be ready to make Friday, March 10, the best launch day ever.
The definitive MA online sports betting checklist
Before you download sportsbook apps
- Decide on a budget. Sports betting or gaming of any kind is supposed to be entertaining. That means you should look at your activity as something you are doing to increase your enjoyment of sports that you already enjoy. Look at your finances and determine what you can realistically afford monthly. Consider it like a budget you’d have for dining out, for example. Always stick to the budget, and you’ll never over-extend yourself.
- Communicate. If you have a significant other, talk with that important person about your sports betting lifestyle. Especially if that person is unfamiliar with sports betting, it’s respectful to tell them what you plan to do and how much you’ll spend. It keeps you accountable. And it helps alleviate any fears those close to you may have. Always practice responsible gaming.
- Funding. Determine how you’ll fund your sports betting entertainment. Will you use your savings or checking account? A debit card? Will you set aside one account to handle the spending, adhering to your limits? Just figure it out, and never jump around to many accounts. You’ll need to have your payment info when you register and make a deposit.
- Be honest about your expectations. Never look at online sports betting as a career. Few (very few) people are making enough money off sports wagering to live on. You’re not that person, and should always remember that Massachusetts sports betting is for fun. If it’s not fun, why do it? Never chase losses to try to make up for “bad luck.”
Downloading Massachusetts sportsbook apps
You should be identifying your chosen sportsbook before launch day.
Consult the PlayMA Massachusetts sports betting app reviews to help you.
- Register with more than one app. Normally we wouldn’t tell a sports bettor to double or triple up on sports betting apps. Especially if you’re not going to wager often. But, when a market opens like Massachusetts will on March 10, it’s smart to register with more than on app. Why? Because the operators are clamoring to make you a customer. That means they’re offering bonus bets and deposit matches, and more. Which means your first few bets can be placed with the bonus betting credits OR you can receive credits if your first bets lose. DraftKings Massachusetts is even giving out a $50 bonus bet with your first deposit. FanDuel and BetMGM are not requiring deposits for their pre-launch offers.
- Grab promo codes. Some sportsbooks will require a promo code. Check our list of sportsbook promos for MA to see which ones will require you to use a code.
- Download from your trusted sources only. Only download sports betting apps from the stores and trusted websites you frequent. You can bookmark our page of Massachusetts sportsbook apps to simply get to the apps from PlayMA. Click the SIGN UP NOW buttons to be directed to the app you desire.
- Limit to three. There’s no reason to download and register with more than three sportsbook apps. Don’t confuse yourself, and with three, you can still get hundreds of dollars in bonus bets.
Planning your first bets
- Seek bets that can be split up. Sportsbooks will reward you with bonus bets when you register, or register and make a deposit. Sometimes that bonus bet is one chunk (like a single $50 bonus bet). But sometimes the sportsbook will give it to you in increments (four $25 bonus bets as a $100 bonus bet offer, for example). You want to get as many bets as possible. Why? Because more bets means more chances to win and turn that bonus betting credit into money you can withdraw.
- Mind the expiration dates. Bonus bets and promo offers will be generous and attractive. Read the fine print to see if there is an expiration date on the offer. It’s likely there will be. That means you’ll need to use the bonus bets within a certain number of days.
- Winning a bonus bet. Because the sportsbook is giving you the bonus amount to bet with, if your wager wins, you will not win that original stake. For example: A $100 winning bonus bet at BetMGM Massachusetts on +200 odds will return $200, not $300.
- Turnover or playthrough. Sportsbooks may require you to play through any winnings from bonus bets once before withdrawing. It’s also known as “turnover,” and you’ll want to look at the turnover conditions of bonus bets.
What you need to register with a sportsbook in Massachusetts
- A state-issued ID card, such as a drivers’ license, state ID, state employee ID, passport or other approved ID.
- Confirm your email address and that you are over 21 years of age.
- You must be within the Commonwealth when registering and placing bets.
- You will be required to connect a payment method.
- Some sportsbooks will require a deposit, usually only $5.
Stay informed like a Massachusetts sports betting expert
Here are resources to assist you as you go forward as a legal sports bettor in your favorite state.
- Massachusetts Gaming Commission responsible gaming resources website, including details on self-exclusion, the hotline and much more.
- Latest news: The reporters at PlayMA file reports daily on the latest MA gambling news, including regulations, promo offers and sports trends for Massachusetts.