Sports wagering banner year: billions bet, millions for Massachusetts

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The sports wagering industry in Massachusetts is on fire.

In the year that’s passed since the Bay State began to allow gambling on professional and some college sports, more than $6.2 billions dollars has been spent on sports wagering by over 1.6 million gamblers, generating more than half-a-billion in revenue for operators and hundreds of millions for the state, according to a new report presented by Gaming Commission staff this week.

Retail sports wagering first went live in Massachusetts on January 31, 2023, and online gambling followed soon after, on March 10 of that year. Since then, betters have lost $594.9 million to one of the state’s eight licensed online bookmakers or at one of three licensed casinos.

When the law was sent to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk in the summer of 2022, sports wagering was expected to bring in around $30 million in tax revenue and $70 million in licensing fees. In the first year, the Gaming Commission learned Thursday, the state actually made $118.5 million in total.

This year’s Super Bowl alone, according to the report presented to the commission, saw more than 3.3 million bets made, generated $9 million in wagers, and sent $1.8 million to the Treasury’s coffers.

“A lot of work is going on in the Commonwealth,” Commission Jordan Maynard said. “And a lot of money — revenues — being returned to the Commonwealth.”

Over 38,000 people have made use of the state’s mandated Responsible Gaming programs offered by the various sports book operators, and hundred of people have voluntarily identified themselves as a problem gambler and excluded themselves from the market.

The Gaming Commission has issued $90,000 in fines to operators in the last year for accepting unlawful wagers, most of which were voluntarily disclosed by the operators and over college sports involving a Massachusetts team or a sport that wasn’t approved for betting by the commission

Sports wagering operators, according to the report, have spent $48.3 million in Massachusetts since the launch of the industry.

 

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