Find our selection of the best Massachusetts online casinos below. These are available to all players residing within the state and will give you the best online casino experience possible. You can also find our list of the best Massachusetts sportsbooks here.
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Like most folk in the USA, Bay Staters enjoy playing online, and many love to play for real money. The best Massachusetts online casinos will give you the optimum gaming experience if you reside in that area.
Before looking into playing online, we must understand this great state’s stance concerning gambling, what your options are, and, if you want to play online, how to find somewhere both safe and exciting to play. Shall we?
Massachusetts Stance On Gambling
Like many other US states, Massachusetts has some very particular laws regarding gambling. Simply put, gambling is permitted in land-based brick-and-mortar casinos and one parlor devoted to slots. There are also legal lotteries, Daily Fantasy Sports, Social casinos, gambling for charitable purposes, and pari-mutuel gambling on horse racing.
Here’s a short history of gambling in Massachusetts.
The history of gambling in Massachusetts can be traced back to the colonial era, where lotteries were very popular, with the first state-authorized public lottery held in 1745. In the 19th Century, lotteries did not have a good reputation, and the Massachusetts Lottery was soon shut down, which didn’t reopen until 1971, over a century later.
Pari-mutuel betting was legalized at horse and greyhound racing tracks in 1934, a move that proved very popular with Bay Staters. As with many states, dog racing soon became very unpopular due to the abuse of the animals, and in 2009 the Massachusetts Greyhound Protection Act was enacted that banned all forms of dog racing.
On 22 November 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Expanded Gaming Act, which allowed for the issuing of three casino licenses. These licenses exclude casinos built on native American land, as these are governed by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
Let’s look a little deeper at legal gambling in the state.
Massachusetts has three land-based casinos; one north of Boston, one south of Boston, and the third in Springfield. All three offer a full range of services, including all the popular table games, poker, and various slots.
Gambling is legal in all of these casinos.
The only legal option for online play is the so-called social casino. Social casinos are casinos where you can play casino games, but they do not accept real money. People who play these games use tokens supplied by the casino, but it is possible to purchase tokens in many games.
When they register, players are issued with tokens, and winnings are also paid out in tokens. Some casinos offer sweep coins for winning bets, and these can be used in certain jackpot games for real money cash prizes.
None of these transactions can be considered wagers for money, so they are not illegal.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
In 2016, Massachusetts passed a temporary bill that permitted DFS online games to take place while the formal rules and regulations around this activity were drafted. In 2018, an amendment was passed to make DFS legal in the state permanently.
DFS involves betting on the players’ performance in a fantasy team rather than the outcome of live games. This pastime has a passionate following in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts State Lottery
To generate funds for charitable causes, the Massachusetts State Lottery was launched in 1971. The proceeds have been used for projects in the education, recreation, and roads sectors. There are many different types of games, such as Mega Millions, Powerball and jackpot draws.
The legal age for playing in the lottery in Massachusetts is 18, which is lower than for DFS or casino games. However, you can’t purchase these tickets online, but there are many retail outlets throughout the state.
In 2019, $1.4 billion was given to the commonwealth to fund various projects.
Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering are regulated and legal in Massachusetts. Bettors can bet in person, via simulcast, or online where offered by licensed entities.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting. Since then, many states have moved forward to legalize and regulate online sports betting. At this time, sports betting is not legal in Massachusetts, but it is very close.
Bill, H3977, which covers online sports betting, was passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives (156 for, 3 against, 1 abstention) is now waiting for approval in the Senate, so it is hopeful that in 2022, online sports betting will be legal in Massachusetts.
Online gambling is not yet legal in Massachusetts. Still, having said this, it is a bit of a grey area as there are many reputable offshore casinos that Massachusetts residents can access.
Local laws do not expressly exclude online gambling, and the state has never attempted to prosecute anyone for gambling with an offshore casino.
Read on as we discuss what makes an excellent online casino.
Selecting an Offshore Casino
Statistically, Massachusetts ranks 7th in the US for online gambling, ranking just above Ohio. Estimates are that Bay State residents wager $35 million with offshore casinos.
When looking for an online casino, there are several factors that you should consider before signing up.
Here are the essential elements we highly recommend and that all of our listed best Massachusetts offshore casinos feature.
Security, Licensing and Fair Games
There is no overall body that regulates online gambling, but several places will issue a license to an online company. These casinos must undertake a lengthy registration process and submit to regular audits to ensure compliance with their rules.
The entities that issue licenses include Malta, Curacao, Kahnawake, the Isle of Man, Alderney Gambling License, and Antigua and Barbuda Online Gambling License.
The fact that a site is licensed is the first step toward ensuring legitimacy.
The next factor to consider is the fairness of the games. Excluding the Live Games, many games rely on a random number generator to spin the reels on a slot or seal a hand of poker. It is essential that the software used in these games is considered fair to the player and should be certified by a third party.
Several companies specialize in this form of auditing, so look for their seal on the site. These companies include BMM Test Labs, UKGC, eCOGRA, ITech Labs, and NMi.
This certification means the player can be sure that the games are both fair and can be played confidently.
As we are talking about games, let’s look at that element next.
Games and Gaming Software
Ideally, you will want to register with one casino, enjoy hundreds of different games, and not spend time hopping from one casino to another.
Therefore, it’s important to look at the games that the casino is offering. There should be many classic casino games such as craps, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack. These games should be provided both as an online option and in a live format.
Poker is a very popular online option, so the casino should offer a variety of poker games that include Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and 5-Card Draw, among others.
Slots are another trendy choice, and there should be classic slots, video slots, 3D slots, 5-reel slots, Mega Spin Slots, Progressive Jackpots, and Networked Jackpots.
Finally, until sports betting is legalized in Massachusetts, ensure that your chosen casino offers a full range of sports betting options. These should, where possible, include live betting on sporting matches rather than just pre-match and half-time options.
The games that are played are not only developed by the casino. Third-party software houses can also supply them. Investigate which software houses provide the games and ensure that they are respected. Look for games provided by companies such as Betsoft, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Microgaming, NYX Interactive, IGT, and Yggdrasil.
Now we have covered the license and the games, let’s look at what the casino can give us for free.
All gamblers love receiving something for nothing, and the casino you select should have bonuses and other free things on offer. Bonuses are incentives for you to choose a specific casino and should give you an opportunity to test the casino and the games on offer.
Here are a few of the more common bonuses that should be available.
Welcome Bonus: Every online casino offers a Welcome Bonus in one form or another. The most common welcome bonus matches your first deposit or first few deposits. This means that you bet double the money that you deposit. Some casinos offer multiples of your first deposit that can amount to hundreds of dollars.
No Deposit Bonuses: As the name implies, this is a small bonus that is rarely above $200 given to a player to try out a casino. No money needs to be deposited. You need only register and start playing. Conditions often accompany this type of bonus, so look into those.
Deposit Bonuses: This is a widespread way that casinos will encourage gamblers to continue playing. Deposit bonuses on casino games will usually double your money, while slots can be up to 200%.
Free Spin Bonuses: These are usually given to existing players or can be used to introduce a new slot game. This bonus gives you some free spins that will pay real money for winning, but again please check the conditions as they often come with strict terms. Find some of the best free spins no deposit offers here.
Loyalty Bonuses: These reward long-time players. These are usually granted when players reach designated milestones and take many forms. They can be points in a points system, moving up to a new level that gives greater rewards, or completing a challenge or mission for bonus spins, cash, or tokens.
Before accepting any bonus or promotional offer, be sure to check out the terms and conditions. Many bonuses and promos are accompanied by strict requirements that mean you may have to wager a considerable amount before being allowed to cash out your bonus.
Now we have to look at the site’s banking options.
As we have said, US law does not permit online gambling, so you must ensure that the offshore site you select will deal legitimately with your money. As the casino is registered and operates from an offshore location, you cannot appeal to a US agency for assistance if anything goes wrong.
It would be best to look for a casino with a wide range of banking options. Look for options such as credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, Neteller, Skrill, bank transfers, iDebit, Poli, Qiwi, and eChecks.
We must warn you that as online gambling is not permitted, some American banks and credit card providers may refuse to allow transactions to an online casino. This is why it is essential to have deposit and withdrawal options, such as PayPal, that are not bank-based. E-wallets are far less hassle to use.
Now we have a casino, games to play, know what we can get for free, and deposit and withdraw funds. Next, we need to look at how and where we can play.
The majority of online casinos offer their player the choice of playing on the desktop, mobiles, or tablets. Ensure that the casino you choose offers all of these for your convenience.
As online gambling is not permitted in the US, it is doubtful that you will find an app in the Play Stores for any real-money, offshore casino. The Play Stores do not permit these apps to be downloaded via their sites, but your chosen casino may offer its own app.
If they do not have an app, you should find their website has been customized to recognize the device you are using and ensure the site is customized to that device.
While real-money gambling is not legal, don’t be disappointed, as there are many options open to residents of Massachusetts. If you don’t mind playing for tokens, then the Social Casinos will be a perfect fit, but there are other choices that you can make for those wanting to use real money.
You can choose to visit a land-based casino where all the games will be available, or you can choose to select a reputable, safe online casino and enjoy playing in the comfort of your home.
Be sure to review the casinos recommended on this site for a world-class online place to play.