Sarno, Ray Bourque among first to place sports bets at MGM Springfield

In-person sports betting is now officially legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 8:40 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 1:01 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - In-person sports betting is now officially legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The wait is finally over for sports fans and bettors in the Bay State. As of now, sports betting at all three Massachusetts casinos, including MGM Springfield, is fully operational.

“It is exciting and when you win, you want to spend money. Whether you’re spending it here at MGM Springfield or spinoff some of my downtown area (all of the amenities, restaurants, bars and other establishments we have), it’s a good spot,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Sarno, MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley, and other officials celebrated the moment in front of a packed crowd at the casino’s sports betting lounge. This all came more than five months after a bill that made sports betting legal in the Commonwealth was signed by former Governor Charlie Baker. Among those who placed the first bets in Massachusetts was Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque, who bet $100 his former team will win the Stanley Cup.

“They got the All-Star break coming. They’ll get a little rest. They’ll bounce back, have a good second half, and I think we’re in the playoffs,” Bourque explained.

Once the opening ceremony was over, regular casino visitors like Howard Rosenblatt from Albany, NY made his first bets. At the moment, he told Western Mass News that he is feeling pretty lucky.

“My favorite sport is hockey, so I did the nhl. I also did the NBA. Neither one had too many games today, so it didn’t take too long to look over (my receipt),” Rosenblatt said.

Sarno placed the first bet in the state at 10 a.m. sharp and said the Eagles will beat the Chiefs in the big game on February 12. While it is unclear what he could bet on next, he said anything is possible.

“Besides sports, they’re going to have some unique events you can bet on here, so that draws in even a different population to do that. Let’s wait and see. Hopefully, I win,” Sarno said.

Among the first bettors at MGM Springfield included Sarno, Bourque, State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, and State Senator Adam Gomez. All four noted that any winnings would be donated to non-profit organizations.

From this point forward, anyone 21 and over can come by the casino’s sports lounge and place their bets on any approved events.