Legal sports betting in Massachusetts is live at the Bay State’s three casinos with a few days to spare before this year’s Super Bowl.
The NFL’s Big Game is typically a benchmark day in the gambling world. But, without online sports betting, Massachusetts sportsbooks will have to wait another year to reap the full benefits.
PlayMA projects Super Bowl 57 to generate just over $7 million in total bets for the Feb. 12 game between Philadelphia and Kansas City. With online sports betting, PlayMA forecasts the game’s handle would have exceeded $49 million statewide.
“Legal Super Bowl betting has finally arrived for folks in Massachusetts,” said Eric Ramsey, lead market analyst for PlayMA, “but the staggered start means it won’t significantly contribute to the national totals this year. Local sportsbooks will have the hottest tickets in town on Super Bowl Sunday, though, and this game is really just an appetizer for what figures to be a feast of online sports betting in the seasons ahead.”
Sportsbooks inside Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino began taking bets at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Online sports betting in Massachusetts should launch later this quarter.
Sizing up Massachusetts sports betting
Massachusetts is late to the sports betting game. Neighboring states, except Vermont, offer both in-person and online sports betting.
Without any historical data and the unknown variable of how many MA gamblers will still cross into other states to bet online, Super Bowl betting predictions are difficult to handicap.
Massachusetts is also a tough state to draw comparisons with other legal sports betting jurisdictions.
By population, MA is on par with Arizona and Tennessee. But it’s a densely populated state; only New Jersey and Rhode Island claim higher density. Regarding per capita income of residents, Massachusetts trails only Washington D.C. and Connecticut.
Maryland provides road map for MA Super Bowl projections
All things considered, Maryland is the best comparison. And, like MA, Maryland started legal sports betting just before last year’s Super Bowl with only retail sportsbooks as nearby states offered online options.
For the 2022 Super Bowl, Maryland casino sportsbooks generated an estimated $5 million in bets. That works out to a $0.88 per capita average.
“It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from Massachusetts for this year’s game, and our forecast is perhaps even a bit optimistic,” Ramsey said. “The newness of legal betting and the pent-up demand should work in its favor, but we won’t be able to see the true potential of this market until the online component is up and running at full speed.”
PlayMA projections for this year’s Super Bowl assume a $1 per capita average. With the addition of online sports betting, the projected per capita average jumps to $7.
In-person-only sports betting in Massachusetts is forecasted to generate just over $7 million in handle for Super Bowl 57. Online sports betting and retail could produce $49.2 million, according to PlayMA analysts.
Online sports betting in Massachusetts
There is still no date for legal online sports betting in Massachusetts. State gaming regulators have indicated that internet sports gambling might be available by late February or early March.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued mobile sports betting licenses to 11 operators. State law permits 15 online licenses.
DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, Bally Bet, Betr, Fanatics, Barstool and WynnBET are expected to launch when regulators eventually give the green light. Betway is licensed but unlikely to be part of the first wave of online operators in MA.