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Sports Betting in Boston: Gambling City Guide
Boston fans can sometimes come off as cocky or arrogant depending on which one you meet. While this may rub people the wrong way, you cannot blame them as the city has an incredible amount of championships from the different teams that reside there. It seems as if all of their major franchises have great histories of success and superstars.
Boston has professional sports teams in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. They have endured long droughts without championships. They have seen dynasties that have never been seen before in professional sports. The New England Patriots have put together a system that has allowed them to dominate their division as well as the rest of the league throughout the last several seasons. So, we will discuss all of these teams in-depth in the article below and cover everything you need to know about each.
In the article below, we will be going over everything you need to know about betting on sports, casinos, and online gambling in Boston. We will cover all of the teams that compete in the city, the casinos you can visit, horse tracks, and the laws that surround it. Like most cities, the laws and regulations surrounding gambling and sports betting are likely to be changed around since the nationwide ban on the activity was lifted. With that being said, we will do our best to go over everything as it currently stands in the city.
Boston Online Gambling Legislation Overview
As with any city, we first need to take a look at what is legal and what is not. We will look at all the options for gambling, sports betting, lottery, horse racing, and everything else that you can and can't do in the city of Boston.
What is Legal
First, we are going to look at what is legal to do in Boston. Everything in this next section is free and clear and will not expose you to any fines. So, let's take a look!
Charitable gambling is legal in the city of Boston, and bingo games, poker games, and raffles are held to raise money for charitable causes. There are plenty of places to take part in charitable games, and a quick search online will lead to a variety of options.
Horse and Dog Racing
Horse racing and dog racing are both legal for Boston residents, and plenty of options exist.
Land-Based Casinos are legal in Boston, and residents could not be more excited about it with a large amount of land-based casinos scattered around the city and surrounding areas. Some of the best options for casinos are:
- The River Casino & Sports Bar
- Encore Boston Harbor
- Plainridge Park Casino
- Twin River Casino
The Massachusetts lottery is in full swing and residents of Boston have access to a wide range of games to take their shot at millions of dollars. The lottery has all of the traditional lottery betting games you see in most states, including the Mega Millions and Powerball.
Poker rooms are legal and can be found at any of the diverse group of casinos listed above in the article. There are many options for poker players and plenty of venues that host tournaments and events, including high limit poker. We will take a look at these venues in more depth later in the article.
Off Track Betting
There are plenty of options around the Boston area for off-track betting at race tracks all over the world. OTB is completely legal in the state, and while there are no real horse races that take place in the city, off-track betting allows the residents to take part in the action while a new horse racing track finds a home somewhere in a new location.
What is Not Legal
Now that we have covered what is legal, let's take a look at what will absolutely get you into trouble. While the state of Boston does provide you with great options for wagering, the state does have some limitations that you need to look out for. Let's dive in.
In Boston, there are plenty of gambling options available for the residents whether they decide to stay local or venture out to a different state. When you factor that in with a governor in the state with a very forward-thinking attitude towards sports betting, gamers in the city can remain optimistic. While online gambling is currently illegal in the state of Massachusetts, a bill has been introduced that will change everything as the state moves on its online sportsbook, betting operations and online casinos. Until then, however, offshore gambling and gaming sites can be used as long as they are located somewhere that online gambling is legal.
While sports betting is not regulated at the moment in Massachusetts, there was a sports betting bill introduced in 2019 that aims to bring sportsbooks to the state along with Boston. This will give voters a chance to back the bill and should it get approved, Boston residents could see sports betting come to the state as soon as 2020. Over the last several years, sports betting has been extremely popular among Boston residents. Unfortunately, until that bill is passed the residents of the city are forced to use offshore betting websites.
Boston Sports Betting Options
As we stated above, laws for sports betting in Boston are hoping for a welcomed change, and it is likely that sports betting will be legalized soon as a bill has been introduced. Until then, however, the only options for making sports bets in the entire state of Massachusetts are with offshore websites. With that being said, some possible locations for sportsbooks in Massachusetts once the law has been passed are the casinos that make up the city. In the section below, we will go over some of the best locations to play casino games when you are visiting Boston!
The River Casino & Sports Bar
The River Casino and Sports Bar is located in Nashua, New Hampshire and a relatively short drive for the people of Boston. The casino has basically everything you could ask for as far as table games, poker, and slot machines. Some of the table games included are New Hampshire Hold ‘Em, roulette, Spanish 21, let it ride, criss cross poker, as well as the Big Six Money Wheel. The poker room features no-limit cash Texas Hold ‘Em poker along with tournament Texas Hold ‘Em. You can also host private parties at the casino, and there are excellent options for drinks and dining!
Encore Boston Harbor
The Encore Boston Harbor is located in Everett, Massachusetts and is commonly referred to as the Wynn Everett or the Wynn Boston Harbor. It is owned by Wynn Resorts who are popular for their Vegas casino and resorts. The Encore sits right on the border of Boston and is extremely convenient for the residents there. The casino was opened in June of 2019 and has everything you need ranging from retail outlets, restaurants, and of course the hotel. Whether you feel like sitting down behind one of their 3,100 slot machines or the 144 table games, the Encore Boston Harbor has everything you need. The poker room features 88 high-end tables, and you can book space for private games as well as sit down at the high-limit tables.
Plainridge Park Casino
The Plainridge Park Casino is located in Plainville, Massachusetts and another conveniently located casino for Boston residents. The Plainridge Park Casino has a wide variety of poker games, electronic table games, slot machines, and table games like craps and roulette. The casino also features a pretty excellent rewards program that allows you to earn points that can be used at over 20 different casino locations, including Las Vegas.
Twin River Casino
The Twin River Casino is located in Lincoln, Rhode Island and an excellent choice for anyone looking to hit the casino in Boston. While it's not as close as some of the other options, gamblers will not be disappointed in the options and amenities that are available at Twin River. The casino floor is around 162 thousand square feet and has recently gone through some renovations. There are over 4,200 slot machines as well as virtual table games such as blackjack and roulette. In addition to those, you can enjoy over 119 live table games such as craps, roulette, and blackjack. There is also an excellent poker room for anyone looking to play a few hands.
Boston Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
Unfortunately, if you are a resident of the great city of Boston, sports betting at any physical location is illegal and not available anywhere in Massachusetts. With the exception of horse racing, no forms of sports betting either online or at a physical location has yet to be legalized. It is, however, expected to change in the coming year or two. But, until it does, the people of Boston will be stuck opening accounts with offshore websites. It is highly recommended to hold off until the state opens some of their own sportsbooks and passes the law as opposed to creating accounts with sketchy, offshore sites!
Boston Horse Racing Tracks
While all of the tracks for horse racing have been closed down, you can still bet on the horse races as well as attending the greyhound track close by. There are no solid tracks available in close range of Boston and should a resident want to make the trip, they could head out to Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York. In recent years, Boston had a great track called Suffolk Downs. In 2017, however, the property was sold to a developer who has plans to develop the area for housing and retail stores. There has been talk that the owner of Suffolk Downs plans to relocate the track and bring the sport of horse racing back to Boston, but no locations have been discussed. So, for Boston residents, taking a road trip for about 3 hours to Saratoga is the best option available.
Boston Online Poker Options
In the state of Massachusetts, no state-wide regulation of online poker or online gambling has managed to get passed. However, there are no laws in Massachusetts that do not allow citizens to participate in real money poker games online. While online poker is expected to be legalized in the very near future and a bill has been introduced, the people of this city do have plenty of options for offshore, real-money poker websites. These sites are available to almost anyone in the United States and give poker fans plenty of options for online play.
Boston Professional Sports Teams
As we briefly talked about above, Boston has incredible sports teams and some of the best fanbases in all of American sports. The fans of the city are always behind the teams and show up in mobs to cheer them on. Boston has five times in the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, New England Revolution, and the Boston Celtics. All of these teams have had up and down years, but no team has had a run like the New England Patriots have had and continue to have today. With coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady steering the team, the Patriots are constant threats at winning the Super Bowl every single year. In the section below, we will go over the history of all the teams in Boston as well as all of their accomplishments.
Boston Sports Betting Communities, Bars, Forums, and Blogs
As with any massively popular city with multiple options for sports and teams to cheer on, Boston has a pretty sound sports culture amongst the city. So, it is no surprise that sports bars, blogs, and even communities have sprung up everywhere that keep the fans, as well as the sports bettors of Boston, informed on where their teams are at and how they are looking going forward. In the section below, we will be going over all of the nooks and crannies of the city that allow fans and sports bettors to get the latest news and updates on what is going on with the sports teams of the city.
West End Neighborhood
The West End neighborhood is one of the most popular and visited sports neighborhoods in all of Boston. In the West End, you will find plenty of sports bars and fellow fans to watch the events and enjoy the games. West End is also home to the TD Garden, which is where the Bruins and Celtics play all of their home games. West End residents have the luxury of walking to these games, making it one of the best sports neighborhoods in the city! Some of the best bars for sports in West End are:
- Boston Sports Grille
- The Four's Restaurant and Sports Bar
- Tavern in the Square
Another great area to be as a Boston sports fan is the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhoods of the city. The name speaks for itself! This is where you will find the home of the Boston Red Sox and the legendary Fenway Park. There are plenty of options for sports bars and things to do in this area, and on game days it is completely crawling with fans. Below, you will find some great options for drinks and food in the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood.
- Bleacher Bar
- Cask ‘n Flagon
- Tony C's Sports Bar and Grill – Fenway
Online Blogs and Forums
As with most cities, there are plenty of blogs and forums online to keep up to date with the latest news for Boston sports. Below, we have listed a few of the most popular blogs the residents of Boston can use to stay in tune with their home teams.
- Boston Sports Journal – Cover all Boston Sports
- Boston Sports Media Watch – Covers all Boston Sports
- Over The Monster – Boston Red Sox Blog
- BoSox Injection – Boston Red Sox Blog
- Celtics Blog – A Boston Celtics Blog
- Hardwood Houdini – Boston Celtics Blog
- Pats Pulpit – New England Patriots Blog
- Stanley Cup of Chowder – Boston Bruins Blog