Massachusetts Race and Sports Wagering
In November 2008, Massachusetts residents voted to ban dog racing starting January 2010. Simulcast betting on greyhound races conducted outside Massachusetts is still permitted. That first year of the live dog racing ban, live racing performances declined over 70% and live handle declined by 60% in the state.
With the passage of the state's casino gaming laws in 2011, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) was established to oversee all gaming, including pari-mutuel wagering. On 20 May 2012, the MGC officially assumed regulatory responsibility for the state's horse racing industry from the Commission.
Suffolk Downs in East Boston, the only thoroughbred track in Massachusetts, opened in 1935 but closed its live racing operations in October 2014. Suffolk Downs remains open for simulcast pari-mutuel betting. Before Wonderland dog track in Revere closed in August 2010, Suffolk Downs had Wonderland's dog racing simulcast license transferred to its track, thus enabling Suffolk Downs to offer simulcasting on dog races and earning revenue to help reduce Wonderlands' debt load.
Plainridge Park Casino opened on 17 March 1999 as Plainridge Racecourse and is the only standardbred track in the state. It offers 100 live harness racing days from April through November and simulcasting year-round. In February 2014, Plainridge was awarded a slots parlor license.
The Raynham-Taunton Park dog track opened in 1940. After the 2010 live dog racing ban, the facility continued to offer ontrack simulcasting year-round.
In March 2016, attorney general Maura Healey put forth regulations for the daily fantasy sports industry. The legislature made the activity legal until 31 July 2018.
In January 2018, a bill to introduce a study sports betting was unveiled. In February 2018, a bill seeking to make fantasy sports legal on a permanent basis was put forth. Also, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission released a white paper to provide a "roadmap for those seeking to learn about the current landscape of the sports betting discussion in the country and its possibilities in Massachusetts."
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