It’s been a busy start to spring for sportsbook operators and sports betting in Massachusetts, as mobile betting went live just ahead of March Madness this year. The hectic rush will continue for a few more months as two of Boston’s premier teams are preparing for runs at a championship.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bruins as overwhelming favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season, their +260 line more than twice as good as the next closest competition, the Colorado Avalanche (+600). The Celtics have the second-best odds of winning an NBA record 18th championship this season, listed at +325 at Caesars. Use a Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts Promo Code if you want to bet on the Bruins, Celtics, or any other team or player to maximize your winnings.
Sports Betting in Massachusetts
Even though the battle has already been won with retail and online sportsbooks now legal and live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, new developments will continue to come in as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) continues to sort out exactly how they want to operate. One of the most recent developments in the Bay State deals with bets on racing. Instead of betting against the house like you would when wagering on a Celtics game, sports like horse and greyhound racing use a different style called parimutuel betting.
Bettors pool their money based on which competitor they expect to win or place, with the odds only determined once betting closes, and all the money is counted. Parimutuel betting was legal in the states even when other forms of sports wagering were prohibited. Still, it’s taken some time for the traditional sportsbooks to get their feet wet in the racing industry.
For Caesars Sportsbook, the efforts to step into the world of betting on the races center around the racetrack at Raynham Park, which held greyhound races until 2010 and continues to operate by fielding retail bets on the races. Raynham Park announced that they’re partnering with the king of sportsbooks back in January, and they filed the requisite paperwork to field bets at the time, but it’ll take a bit longer for them to receive their license.
The MGC initially set their review of Raynham Park’s application for March 28, but a commissioner wasn’t present for the MGC’s most recent meeting, so they couldn’t go over the paperwork. The Commission announced at that meeting that they’re delaying the Raynham Park review until April 12.
Some good news for those eager to bet on the races: legislation surrounding betting regulations often passes cyclically, with lawmakers ramming through laws ahead of major events for the industry. Look at when sports betting went live in Massachusetts: retail betting opened in the last week of January, just in time to draw the massive crowds associated with the Super Bowl. While it took a bit longer for the MGC to sort everything out with the mobile sportsbooks, they set the target date for March 10, ahead of the beginning of the March Madness tournament.
The biggest month of the year for horse racing is approaching fast, with the American Triple Crown of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes all taking place within five weeks across May and early June.
As such, lawmakers aren’t going to want to delay: not only would it upset betting operators and customers, but they’d miss out on an opportunity to rake in tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the eyes of Massachusetts bettors, one nice thing about the planned partnership between Caesars and Raynham Park is that the tax rate for retail sportsbooks is lower than for online ones. While it’s not as easier to head down to the racetrack as it is to bet from the comfort of your own home, if you live near one of the in-person casinos, the winning bets you place will be taxed at a 15 percent rate instead of the 20 percent levied at the online books.
Dog Racing Later
Figures from the first full month of mobile sports betting are set to release on April 15, giving the state (and its people) an idea of just how much money was placed on bets throughout the duration of March Madness… and how much tax money will benefit the state because of it.
Other horse racing operators will take bets on greyhound racing, but there’s only a limited time to do so: DraftKings is debuting a new app, DraftKings Horse, which will take bets on dog races until August 1.