Massachusetts Online Casinos

In the case of gambling in Massachusetts, the state has just recently gotten on board with the ever-growing trend of a gambling expansion in the United States. Although there is still a long way to go before a full and complete regulation of online poker, Massachusetts is slowly making paces towards legalization of online gambling. Until then, everybody that keeps some amounts of cash ready to be used to play casino games is able to do so, using the available options of gambling, both online and offline.

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Overview of Gambling in Massachusetts

This was perhaps the first case where the global recession that ravaged the years following 2008 had a positive outcome. With the state budget still suffering, lawmakers had to find alternatives to increase the much-needed tax incomes. Therefore, the Massachusetts gambling laws managed to get their first alteration in favour of allowing residents to be able to play for real money. A state referendum permitted Massachusetts residents to speak out their opinion on the subject of casino gambling, with the result of reevaluating the licensing system and giving out approvals for three commercial casinos. So, 2011 meant the start of a new age for Massachusetts gambling.

But is online gambling legal in Massachusetts? However, up to date and inclined to change things the state legislators are, the answer to that question is still no. In fact, gambling laws are an interesting mix of new concepts and old ideas. Massachusetts has some discrepancies in the rules pertaining to gambling and casino games that tend to become rather hilarious through the inadequacies they present. For example, if a player is caught playing illegal gambling games, the fine is to give back to the state authorities two times the earnings. Which is to say that if caught while illegal gambling but loosing at these games, no penalty is to be given. Also, if the illegal gambling happened more than a year and a half ago, the crime becomes null.

Also, most states have some of the worst punishments for illegal gambling operators. Massachusetts has the most twisted sense of justice when it comes down to those who organize illicit casino games. They are given the option to pay a fine valued between 50 and 100 USD or to choose an imprisonment period of 3 to 12 months. Let’s just imagine an operator who holds roulette, baccarat, or another sort of game with high winnings for the house, gets caught. It can pay a fine of a maximum of 100 USD and get away with the thousands of dollars already won.
There is one rule that has no escaping from, and that is obeying the Massachusetts gambling age, which state legislators don’t tread too lightly about. The minimum gambling age in Massachusetts starts from 18 for a lottery, charitable gambling and goes up until 21 years old for casino gambling.

Another fiery point of interest might be that of sports betting in Massachusetts, especially after it has become legal for every state to decide its stand on the matter. However, MA has its hands full with the casinos licensing started 8 years ago, a process which hasn’t come to a definitive end yet and it’s hard to imagine that any new movement is going to take place in this area.

Massachusetts Online Gambling Laws

The same can be said about the stage of online gambling, Massachusetts has to offer. Not a particularly strong movement in this direction, as well. The affirmative answer for “is online poker legal in Massachusetts” might take a while to become a reality. The licensing system for the commercial casinos has been put to question right from the start, bringing along a wide campaign of bad press, with famous media scandals and blowbacks towards some of the state’s officials. This comes as a particular negative strike back for Massachusetts online casinos’ supporters, seeing how in order for the legalization of online gambling to happen, a new state referendum is required. All the negative reviews the media has thrown at Massachusetts residents, and the controversial moves from state officials might have created an improper environment for such a bill to pass and get the needed people’s support.

Also, the fact that commercial casinos have just opened up a business, combined with the stated intention of some tribes to create other casinos, makes the MA gambling market, still in its starting years, to not be able just yet to expand this fast towards the online domain. More simply put, a serious demand for online poker sites or full online casinos, hasn’t appeared in the state of Massachusetts.
However, it’s true that surprises happen where you least expect them. A statement also true in the case of Massachusetts online gambling area. The year of 2017 found an unexpected bill for legalizing online lottery ticket sales being shut down, only to be set again on the table of discussion a year later. This comes as the first step to online wagering, making its way into the discussion.

But the real lucky break for Massachusetts online gambling supporters has come in the shape of daily fantasy sports. In fact, daily fantasy sports are clearly mentioned as being legal in the state’s regulatory acts. This is mainly on account of DraftKings, arguably the largest DFS operator in the world, being an MA-based business. It’s impossible to speak about gambling in Boston, without mentioning this booming business created in 2011, right in this town.

The notable plus for having DraftKings under state’s protection is that, now, it has also become a sports book operator, giving high hopes for those who wish to witness the birth of the first Boston-based online sports betting operator. In an easily predictable chain reaction, some expect that MGM, the large operator of a casino in this state, but also an owner of a sports booking in Vegas, would also want to take advantage of a potential sports betting site precedent set by DraftKings. And from that to enabling an MGM online casino, things are just moments away. However, we’d better not get ahead of ourselves and just wait to see how things play out with the initially mentioned prospect.

Alternative Options for Gambling Online

For the current drought of online casinos in this state, there is a solution, enabling gamblers to play mobile online slots for real money, along with benefiting from all services offered by a full-option online casino. These options come in the form of offshore Internet-based establishments. However, the question of whether is Bovada legal in Massachusetts has no easy straight answer. All offshore online casinos operate in the gray area represented by the complete lack of regulations and the limited power that US laws have on these websites, based in different jurisdictions around the globe. The fact that they abide the gambling laws from those countries comes with certain perks, as being able to freely select their customers, choosing to legally allow MA players to join as full-option users, but also face some difficulties.

First would be that not all software developers and operators agree to go into business with online casinos that function in the US. Real Time Gaming is these sites’ favourite, while others, such as Microgaming, definitely don’t want to get involved in any potential risk coming from the interpretation of this gray area. Residents who are simple players have nothing to fear when using these sites, as they are doing nothing illegal as stated by Massachusetts laws.

The Massachusetts online poker stage is represented solely by these offshore operators. The way US officials try to control, or at least keep a tab on the funds being sent outside borders, to these websites, is by imposing the possibility of a ban on certain transactions finalized by using US-issued debit or credit cards. This means that depositing money into the online account or withdrawing winnings might become a nerve-wracking, time-consuming issue if using the classic option. To avoid this, the fast money transfer services, the likes of Western Union or MoneyGram, are simple to use, with the best casinos offering this alternative, just to avoid the hassle.

Offline Choices for Gambling

The state has a lottery for a long time while being part of the Powerball and Mega Millions versions, as well. Also, over one hundred societies deal with organizing charitable games, bingo being the main attraction here.

There currently are no Indian casinos in Massachusetts, although talks about placing the basis for a couple such establishments exist. The most infamous story is that of the Wampanoag Tribe which asked to enter in a compact with the state for opening a casino in Taunton, only to have its demand refused on a ludicrous reason.

For the time being, those who care to push their faith using slot machines must go to one of the two licensed land-based casinos in the area, the MGM in Springfield, started a business in 2018, and the Encore Boston Harbor, near Boston, which has literally just opened gates in mid-2019. A third commercial casino license is up for grabs, but some long-time controversy seems to be surrounding it and at this time is uncertain if it’s going to be awarded to an operator or not. There is also the racino at Plainville which offers over 1200 slots, for a complete view on the gambling stage in Massachusetts.

The options aren’t that many, the market is far from being saturated, and it would seem that there is sufficient room for those who prefer to gamble online. But a market in its early start cannot give out relevant information just yet, and from where it stands at this moment, there is still a high potential of growth and, of course, of money to be made.

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