Published: November 28, 2023

No Indication Massachusetts Will Ban Sweepstakes Casinos

The Malta Gaming Authority oversees all promotional social sites in Massachusetts

In Michigan, a volatile situation involving social online casinos, also known as sweepstakes casinos, sparked questions across the gaming industry.

Michigan authorities banned Massachusetts-based Golden Heart Games from operating in the state. They deemed it illegal gambling. As a result, there was a domino effect in the industry. For example, Virtual Gaming Worlds, owner of several sweepstake casino brands like Global Poker and Chumba Casino, exited the Michigan market.

However, Michigan has legal online casinos. Lawmakers haven’t passed legislation legalizing Massachusetts Online Casinos. And it appears that, at least for now, they are legal in the Bay State.

MGC won’t take action, but AG could

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) oversees the state’s online gambling operations. Currently, the group regulates Massachusetts Sports Betting and the state’s three brick-and-mortar casinos.

However, the commission does not regulate the sweepstakes casinos. Thomas Mills, the MGC’s communications division chief, gave PlayMA a breakdown of how the regulation of gambling works in Massachusetts.

"The only forms of legal gambling that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission oversees and regulates include casino gaming at the Commonwealth’s Category 1 (Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield) and Category 2 (Plainridge Park Casino) casinos, simulcasting and horseracing, and both retail and online sports wager,” said Mills. "Online casino gaming is not legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The State Lottery under the Treasurer’s Office oversees the lottery (instant tickets, numbers games) and the Office of the Attorney General oversees daily fantasy sports.”

The Malta Gaming Authority oversees all promotional social sites in Massachusetts and ensures customers are treated fairly and given their winnings promptly. When asked about the possibility of Massachusetts banning sweepstakes casinos, Mills suggested contacting the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell has not made a big stink about social online casinos in the state. Regarding the gambling industry, she has been more focused on cracking down on sports betting ads and ensuring the state’s casinos follow all the rules. In other words, if there is going to be a ban on sweeps casinos in Massachusetts, it likely won’t happen anytime soon.

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