Sports betting has proven itself as big business in Massachusetts

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In a state that loves its sports teams, it turns out, legal gambling on sports is proving to be quite popular too.

“Everyone knew going into it that Boston fans are super passionate about their sports, so we knew engagement really wouldn’t be the issue for Boston,” said Matthew Waters, the assistant managing editor of Legal Sports Report.

It was one year ago, on January 31, 2023, that retail sports betting became legal in Massachusetts. Mobile sports betting followed in March. In one year, close to $5 billion has been bet, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. 

‘It just sort of confirms what everyone suspected about both the market and the people in Massachusetts, they flat out like to gamble,” said Bill Speros, senior betting analyst at

A lot of betting in one year, with some issues as well.

“We are busier than ever,” said Marlene Warner, CEO of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health.

The council operates a 24-hour hotline and live chat (available here) to help those who think they are struggling with gambling. 

“It is fascinating how people are calling us around the clock, with problems I think we would have anticipated around certain sporting events or maybe after certain promotions,” Warner said.

Warner adds that in this past month, they have seen a record number of people call to self-exclude themselves from gambling in the state.

“A lot of folks had never talked to anyone else in their lives about this problem, they don’t realize it is a problem often, they don’t know how to classify it,” Warner said.

Looking into year two, Warner says she wants to take a harder look at gambling advertising, creating awareness about what should and should not be said, where it can live, and who is endorsing certain projects. She adds a majority of people reaching out for help from the Council are young men.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission says it also collected nearly $94 million in taxes from sports betting. 

With mobile sports betting not going live until March of last year, this is the first year where mobile sports will be legal for the Super Bowl.

“I think the market has met expectations in terms of its competitiveness and in terms of how lucrative it has been,” said Speros.

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