Sports betting in Massachusetts debuted with a bang Jan. 31, with celebrities and politicians on hand to witness the first wagers.
The state’s three casinos spent months preparing for the launch. In addition to ensuring they adhered to newly enacted state gambling regulations, the operators also renovated their facilities to accommodate sports betting and attract new customers.
So, what casino has the best retail sports betting facilities in the state? We’ll help you figure that out.
Check out the comparison of the casinos below.
Encore Boston Harbor Sportsbook
The most profitable of the Massachusetts casinos, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, has the only sportsbook within the immediate vicinity of the state capital. Built in 2019 by Wynn Resorts, the casino’s WynnBET Sportsbook is a spacious, state-of-the-art facility that rivals some Vegas sportsbooks in size. It features Boston sports memorabilia and historical photos.
Encore Boston Harbor has over 100 WynnBET Sportsbook kiosks in the casino available 24/7. Some are even in the parking garage for what the casino calls “express betting.”
Within the main sports betting area, live tellers are available at 10 windows. There is Vegas-style theater seating where bettors can view games on a curved 10-foot high, 123-foot-long video screen. More than 70 other TVs show additional games and updated games odds.
When the sportsbook is closed, customers can redeem their tickets at the casino’s Main Cage.
WynnBET Massachusetts Sportsbook also allows you to make a bet on a mobile device, then create a QR code for a bet slip. When you arrive at the casino, scan the QR code at a kiosk to place the desired wager.
EBH reported a sports betting handle of $370,881.75 on Jan. 31, but it actually lost $74,320.15 that day — so bettors did well.
READ MORE: Get Prepared for the Launch of Massachusetts Online Sports Betting
Food and Drink
Dining and cocktail options at the sportsbook include a full bar, Shake Shack, and Frank & Nicks.
Shake Shack serves American fare like Angus beef burgers, fries, beer, and shakes. Frank & Nicks serves Italian-inspired food like artisanal paninis and meatball subs.
- Sportsbook: noon-2 a.m. daily
- Betting windows: 9 a.m.-midnight daily
Due to its size, kiosk numbers, and amenities, as of now, Encore Boston Harbor has the best standalone sportsbook facilities in the state. Plus, it was the only casino with retail sports betting promos for the Super Bowl.
MGM Springfield Sportsbook
MGM Springfield greeted sports bettors with fanfare in a ribbon cutting that included local and state politicians and members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
The downtown Springfield resort casino serves Western Massachusetts and is a short drive from Connecticut, making it a prime gambling destination for the greater Hartford-Springfield region. The casino features a refurbished sports lounge and plenty of activities to enjoy outside of sports betting.
BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Springfield has multiple areas for sports betting enthusiasts: two lounges with bars, and a sports betting area within the TAP Sports Bar. The main lounge has theater seats and tables for customers to view a 45-foot viewing wall. It also has an enclosed wagering counter. Overall, the casino has 18 self-service kiosks.
MGM reported a sports betting handle of $57,235.80 on Jan. 31 and a revenue of $12,152.56.
Food and Drink
MGM Springfield’s TAP Sports Bar is a full-service restaurant with screens for watching games, plus a bowling alley.
In addition, the casino has several types of restaurants, a food court, and other attractions for visitors.
- Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Friday: 11 a.m.-midnight
- Saturday: 10 a.m.-midnight
- Sunday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
While MGM Springfield doesn’t have nearly as many kiosks as Encore Boston Harbor, it has attractive, well-designed sports betting facilities and top-notch entertainment venues for relaxing after games.
MORE ON MGM: MGM Springfield Tops $1 Billion in Lifetime Revenue in January 2023
Plainridge Park Casino Sportsbook
Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville is the smallest of the state’s casinos.
However, it still attracted sports stars for its retail sports wagering launch. New England Patriots legend Rob Ninkovich made the first at the casino’s retail Barstool Sportsbook.
Plainridge Park Casino’s Barstool Sportsbook has 20 betting kiosks, over 20 TVs, and a bar. Like Encore Boston Harbor, the sportsbook also allows bettors to create bets on mobile devices, create a QR code, and then scan the code on-site to get a live ticket.
Plainridge Park Casino is renovating its Flutie’s Sports Pub and converting the restaurant into a brand-new retail sportsbook facility. The opening is tentatively set for the summer of 2023.
PPC reported a sports betting handle of $82,235.80 on Jan. 31 and a revenue of $53,554.26.
Food and Drink
Bettors have several options for eating at Plainridge. For fine dining, Slack’s Oyster House and Grill has a steak and seafood menu. A food court has several restaurants and bars, including a burger joint, a lounge, a full-service bar, and even a Dunkin’ for those who prefer donuts and coffee.
REVENUE: How Much Money Did MA Residents Spend on Sports Betting on Jan. 31?
- Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
While Plainridge doesn’t offer as many amenities as the state’s other two casinos, it is catching up. The addition of a cutting-edge sportsbook should put the casino on a more level playing field just in time for the start of the college football season. The casino’s proximity to Rhode Island is also a plus for attracting out-of-state sports bettors.