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SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 28: Teammates congratulate Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins after he scored a first period goal against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on January 28, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. Joel Auerbach/Getty Images/AFP

The wait is finally over for residents of Massachusetts hoping to place a legal sports bet.

Massachusetts sports betting kicked off Tuesday in the Bay State at three retail outlets, just in time to take advantage of "Christmas for North American sportsbooks," the Super Bowl.

Residents 21 or older became eligible for legal sports betting at 10 a.m. local time at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett at kiosks located within those facilities. The retail launch is the culmination of years of legislative and regulatory wrangling in a state that is home to DraftKings, one of the top U.S. sports betting sites.

Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque were on hand at BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge by Springfield to place the first legal sports wager in the state.

Rounding out the Massachusetts scene

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been busy rounding out what is expected to be a robust legal sports betting scene.

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett will be the face of the retail side of the business and will be major players from now until March, when mobile sports betting goes live in time to take advantage of March Madness. The Commission last week named Bally’s, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet as lucky recipients of Category 3 "untethered” legal sports betting licenses.

There can be up to two more untethered mobile providers named to operate in Massachusetts. The decision on those could come prior to March but there has been no indication so far of other potential mobile sportsbooks for the state.

Barstool Sportsbook and Fanatics will eventually go live as the tethered mobile sports betting providers at Penn National-owned Plainridge Park Casino, BetMGM will launch at MGM Springfield, and Caesars Sportsbook, along with WynnBET will be the online sports betting providers at Encore Boston Harbor.

What to expect in Massachusetts

The retail sports betting launch in Massachusetts is just a precursor to the eventual launch of a more comprehensive and lucrative mobile sports platform that is on track to go live in early March. In 30+ states that currently have mobile wagering, between 70%-95% of their monthly handles are attributed to online betting.

Upon maturity of the entire scene, it is expected that Massachusetts could challenge to become a Top-10 legal sports betting jurisdiction in the exploding U.S. market (thanks largely to the presence of most of the best sportsbooks in the country). There have been a number of studies about just how much tax revenue will be generated from legalization. Estimates range from $35 million to $60 million annually.

There was some early concern that the MGC would limit wagers on some mainstream sports, and heavily regulate the bet types allowed in their state. But those concerns were alleviated last week when the Commission detailed a wide-ranging, expansive platform that would allow for wagers on a huge variety of sports and would give Massachusetts residents a list of bet options found in all of the top sports betting jurisdictions in the country.

What markets are available in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts authorities created a comprehensive list of sports that residents of their state can bet on legally. The options are comparable to other top-tier sports betting states and include all of North America's major pro and college sports, as well as  prominent leagues from around the world. 

Even bets on awards shows, such as the Oscars, are now permitted.

Notable omissions include in-state college teams (unless they are in a tournament such as March Madness), the Olympics, and high school athletics. Sports regulated and overseen by the Russian government are also prohibited.

Just like the menu of sports, Massachusetts residents will not be limited in the markets for which they can bet on. Single-game betting, moneylines, point spreads, parlays, over/under bets, teasers, live/in-game betting, pleasers, round robins, and a huge list of prop betting opportunities are now allowed.

Meanwhile, sports bettors can already look to Massachusetts sports betting promos as the state's sports betting market primes itself to be one of the most competitive in the industry.