It’s another successful season in the NBA for the Celtics. Hopes are high of adding more divisional and conference titles to those already won in the past. Perhaps even a first NBA title since 2008 might be won this year.
16 years ago, being able to legally bet on the Celtics wasn’t possible. Back then sports betting wasn’t as widespread in the US as it is today. The main reason for this was that it was the Federal Government who had the final say on whether US states could legalize sports betting.
They weren’t too keen on going down that route so it just didn’t happen. Individual states campaigned to get the law changed knowing that they were missing out on plenty of potential gambling tax revenue.
In 2018 a US Supreme Court Judge ruling changed everything. It declared that it would be the individual state who could decide whether or not they can pass a law to make sports betting legal. Since then over 30 US states have just done that and the list includes Massachusetts.
Not until August 10, 2022 did Governor Charlie Baker sign House Bill 5164 That was the law which made sports betting legal under the regulation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
That’s another important aspect of legal sports betting. The Gaming Commission decides who receives licenses to legally operate sportsbooks in the state. Once that has been received, no company will want to flout the laws and lose their ability to operate.
It was on the last day of January 2023 that retail sports betting was launched in the state. Online betting didn’t launch until March 10. There are eight online sportsbooks and betting on basketball is incredibly popular.
It’s not just the NBA that attracts a massive number of bets from gamblers. The online launch in early March was greatly appreciated by the new sportsbooks. March Madness is one of the best times of the year for attracting huge custom. Missing out on that would have been a massive blow for the recently launched businesses.
Making sports betting legal has certainly proved to be lucrative for the state. January saw them report the sports betting handle for the last month of 2023 was a record $658.7 million. That figure was £4.3 million higher than November’s total. Of that figure, $643.1 million came from online betting. Those figures could get even higher if the Celtics go deep in the NBA this season.