As the hub of professional sports in New England, Massachusetts can significantly alter the region’s sports betting landscape.
Online MA sports betting launched Friday, and the industry is eager to capitalize on a ripe market.
The new market, however, will likely disrupt an already maturing sports betting ecosystem in the Northeast.
Massachusetts online sports betting kickoff
Six online MA sportsbooks started taking bets Friday. While the state and its 6.9 million people likely will not match Ohio’s $1.1 billion in bets during its first month of January 2023, it will likely be a strong debut.
LSR projections estimate Massachusetts will bring in slightly more than $4 billion in 2023. How that will affect the other states will continue to develop in the coming months and years.
Massachusetts is the most-populous New England state. Along with keeping its residents from betting across its borders, teams like the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots will likely draw in fans from neighboring states.
Other New England state populations:
- Connecticut: 3.6 million
- Maine: 1.4 million
- New Hampshire: 1.4 million
- Rhode Island: 1.1 million
- Vermont: 626,000
New England sports betting states
To the South, Rhode Island was one of the first legal US sports betting states in 2018, with the only online sportsbook through the Rhode Island Lottery. New Hampshire to the North also has a near lottery-dominated sports betting ecosystem, with DraftKings securing access through a 51% revenue tax dedication.
The lack of competition in those states could lead to added attraction to the new Massachusetts market. LSR estimates suggest Massachusetts sportsbooks could take more than 30% of the handle out of the Rhode Island and New Hampshire markets.
Connecticut launched sports betting in October 2021 with a PlaySugarHouse partnership with the Connecticut Lottery. DraftKings and FanDuel also have access through the state’s tribes.
Sports betting handle in January 2023 in those states totaled:
- Connecticut: $167.7 million
- New Hampshire: $97.2 million
- Rhode Island: $62.3 million
Future New England sportsbook markets
Maine sports betting law passed in 2022, but sportsbooks likely will not launch until 2024.
Maine Gaming Control Unit Executive Director Milton Champion believes the summer will be the big season for Maine betting, primarily because of travelers from around New England.
Despite a bill with some momentum, Vermont has not legalized sports betting yet.