Massachusetts Legalizes Online Sports Betting

Unlike in-person sports betting, which began at casinos earlier this year, Massachusetts residents over the age of 21 can place bets using apps on their smartphones and tablets. The state’s sports betting app launch is scheduled for 10 a.m. today, with several major operators (BetMGM, BetMGM Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and WynnBET) ready to start accepting bets at that time.

The term “official betting” refers to the process of settling bets by a sportsbook on the results of a game or competition based on information received directly from the relevant sports governing body. “Covered persons” include athletes; umpires, referees, and officials; club or team staff members, including coaches and managers; medical professionals and athletic trainers who provide services to athletes and players; and immediate family members and associates of such individuals.

In one of the most famous sports scandals in history, professional gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox to lose their World Series game against the Cincinnati Reds, leading to a permanent ban from Major League Baseball for each player involved. Other people have been banned from the game for similar reasons, such as Pete Rose, who was permanently ejected from MLB after he was caught betting on games while he managed the Cincinnati Reds in 1989. The legalization of sports betting in America has made the sport an industry with strong integrity provisions, and Massachusetts’ regulations appear to be in line with those.