People across the globe love poker. Not only for the entertainment but also for the money it can rake in. Any careful bettor can make a good amount off of poker games.
And the USA is famous for hosting some of the greatest poker tournaments in the world. Massachusetts is one the states that play host often. But can MA’s residents benefit from this seemingly popular game?
Sure, most of them are legal. But some just hang in between. That’s because, MA, like most other states in the US is yet to update their legislation on gambling and cash games since before the internet was launched. This means residents can play if they want to. But whether it’s legal or not depends on your interpretation.
Is poker legal in Massachusetts?
The casino industry is almost non-existent in MA. Their legislature is running a little behind on making by-laws on the legitimacy of poker in the state. But that is changing. It may look like Massachusetts has just joined the regulation bandwagon but it’s not so. The process begun almost a decade ago.
In 2011, Rep Dan Winslow submitted an online gambling regulatory bill to the house. It failed, and most people blamed it on the events that happened on that Black Friday.
In 2013, senator Bruce Tarr recommended a bill that would grant MGC the power to license iGaming ventures. Again, like his predecessor, he attained little to no success.
Rep. Bradley Jones took over in 2013, proposing that the state give three licenses for online poker. The bill did not garner enough votes. In 2014, Jennifer Flanagan tried, then Tarr tried again in 2015, and in both times, the bills did not go far.
Come 2019, MA hit a major milestone after the MGC agreed to support the introduction of an online gaming bill. The bill would regulate online poker and give casinos the liberty to host the game.
Thanks to that, Massachusetts now allows commercial casinos and real cash poker gambling rooms to operate under state law. Also, poker card rooms and casinos are legal within the state.
Poker rooms/casinos in Massachusetts
After native American tribes fought the court for their rights to run casinos, the state of Massachusetts introduced the Expanded Gaming Act. The Act allowed construction of three full-fledged casinos and one slot parlor and the Massachusetts gaming commission would oversee their licensing.
Since then, MA has launched two functioning poker rooms and casinos;
MGM Springfield poker room
Operated by MGM, this is a 23-table poker room with full beverage and side table food service, and hosts daily guaranteed poker tournaments. They also offer 120 table games and will spread whatever the players demand except Razz and triple draw.
Wynn’s Encore poker room
Wynn got their license in September 2014.
They then put up one of the best poker rooms in the country featuring 74 tables with 11 of them being high limit tables, 6 separate VIP tables, and a dedicated 7-window poker cage. Inside action includes 166 table games plus a variety of cash games.
Which sites can Massachusetts residents play online poker?
MA has no official regulation on online poker. And because the land-based casinos in the state haven’t picked up so well, poker players prefer to substitute them with online poker rooms.
All sites that operate in the USA accept players from the state of Massachusetts. Getting a good site is easy. You only need to know what to look for.
Reputation and reliability, user interface, strong financial backing, and proper licensing are few of the things that make up a credible online poker site.
A few of the sites that meet those criteria include:
Ignition poker is the biggest player in the USA online poker sites and is open to MA residents. With Ignition poker you get;
- A 100% bonus of up to $2000
- Deposit Limits of $10 – $5,000
- Accepts: Bitcoin, Visa, Bank Wire, and Mastercard
Their cash game variants and over $1.5 million weekly poker tournaments guarantee make it the best choice for players looking for a credible and well-paying site.
Aside from being one of the few that offers zone poker, where you move to a new table and deal a new hand every time you fold, it also has a variety of enticing promotions for its players. The site does not charge a fee on Bitcoin withdrawals. And, it offers loose games, because it makes efforts to protect the players.
Bovada is among the best online poker rooms in the US market. It packs the same action as PokerStars, only better because it actually offers profitable games.
- A 100% welcome bonus for deposits up to $500
- Deposit Limit of $10–$5,000
- Accepts: Visa, Bitcoin, Bank Wire
Anonymous tables, tons of games, mobile-friendly design, different cash games, over $1.5 million in weekly guarantees, and quick payouts are perks that set it apart from the rest.
Bovada also pulls in some of the loosest gamblers online thanks to its dedication to casino and sports offers. They have built an unmatched reputation for fast payouts and customer support.
Betonline poker is among the newest online poker sites for Massachusetts players. However, that does not make it any lesser as it thrives on the foundation that BetOnline group has previously laid as a sportsbook and casino.
- A bonus of 100% up to $2500 deposits
- Deposit Limits of $25 – $25,000
- Accepts: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Visa, Litecoin, MasterCard, Bank Wire, Money Transfers
Generous bonuses and promotions, excellent customer support, valid license, great interface, and quick payouts attract BetOnline payers. They offer a variety of guarantees every week. Apart from a 100% bonus on their first deposits of up to $2500, new players also receive 25% upfront cash for their next deposits.
Even though it is not there, the steps that MA has taken towards poker and online casinos should make it one of the first ten American states to allow virtual playing and provide cash game poker sites for its residents.