The Massachusetts sports betting market continues to sizzle despite the chilly winter weather. In December, the state’s sportsbooks saw their highest handle ever, reaching $658.6 million in wagers from both online and retail bettors. This record-breaking figure comes just nine months after online sports betting launched in the state, followed by the opening of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks a month later.
Even the disappointing 4-13 record of the New England Patriots did not slow down the momentum, as operators raked in $60.5 million in taxable sports wagering revenue from the December handle. The state received $12 million in sports betting tax payments as a result.
Since the legalization of sports wagering, Massachusetts’ online and retail sportsbooks have handled nearly $4.9 billion in bets, generating $471.1 million in taxable sports betting revenue and paying about $93.8 million in taxes to the state.
The state’s three brick-and-mortar casinos, including Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino, also ended 2023 on a high note, tallying $103 million in wins. This marked the second-highest monthly revenue total of the year for the casinos, which also generated more than $29 million in tax revenue for the Commonwealth in December.
The success of both casinos and sportsbooks has not gone unnoticed by legislators and Governor Maura Healey. Despite being an initial opponent of casinos, Healey is now looking to fill a $1 billion budget gap with gaming revenues. Since the inception of casino-style gaming in 2015, the state has collected $1.623 billion in taxes and assessments from casino operations. The total gaming revenues for FY 2023 reached about $330.7 million, up from $310 million in FY 2002 and $233.1 million in FY 2021.
The expansion of gambling in Massachusetts has certainly provided a new revenue stream for the state, with the Healey administration expecting a net profit of around $1.2 billion from the lottery, in addition to another $75 million from gaming revenues. Overall, the outlook for the gaming industry in Massachusetts appears bright.