Massachusetts     View map

Major events in Massachusetts gaming history


Pari-mutuel wagering is legalized
Suffolk Downs opens in July
Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park open


Raynham Greyhound Park opens


Foxboro Raceway opens as Bay State Raceway


Berkshire Downs opens in September


Last year of racing at Berkshire Downs as a commercial track; short fair meets would continue for several years


The Legislature creates a state lottery
Charitable beano (bingo) is authorized in September


The Lottery begins ticket sales on March 22


Regulation of beano (bingo) transferred to the Lottery


In May, the Lottery is the first in the country to offer instant tickets


The Lottery launches the daily numbers game


The Lottery introduces the first lotto game in America, which ended after 13 weeks due to poor sales


Last year of racing at Taunton; meeting dates are transferred to Raynham in 1980


The Lottery installs online terminals at retailer locations


The Lottery introduces the Megabucks lotto game in November


Foxboro closes at the end of the year


Suffolk Downs closes at the end of the year


Foxboro reopens for live racing after being closed for five years
Suffolk Downs reopens for live racing after being closed for two years


The Lottery introduces keno in September


The Lottery is one of the founding members of The Big Game (now Mega Millions)


Last year of racing at Foxboro


Plainridge Raceway opens in April


Revised charitable gaming laws allow for larger prizes and other benefits for charitable organizations


Voters ban Greyhound racing, effective January 1, 2010


 Last year of Greyhound racing at Raynham-Taunton and Wonderland


In November, Gov. Patrick signs legislation authorizing three casinos and one slot parlor in the state


The Lottery introduces Lucky For Life in March, a New England regional game, replacing Cash WinFall, which ended in January


The Lottery introduces a new monitor game, Jackpot Poker, in June, replacing the Daily Race Game


Suffolk Downs announced it would close in October after failing to win the Boston-area casino license


Not dead yet, Suffolk Downs runs three special days of live racing
Plainridge Park Casino is the Commonwealth's first gaming facility, opening its doors June 24


Suffolk Downs holds three weekends of live racing
In July, the Lottery replaces the monitor game Jackpot Poker with All or Nothing


Casinos and casino-style gaming

Massachusetts approved the development of three resort casinos and one slot parlor in November 2011. There will be one casino in each of three regions. A tribal casino has first preference in the Southeast region, but the Gaming Commission opened that region for commercial bidders as a backup plan in the event that federal issues delay tribal development. However, in April 2016, the Commission declined to approve the single applicant for a commercial license in that region. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is moving forward with its casino plans in Taunton.

A slot parlor license was awarded to Plainridge Race Course under new owner Penn National Gaming, and it was the first gaming facility to open in Massachusetts. Two casino licenses have been awarded, to MGM in Springfield and to Wynn MA LLC in Everett.

Plainridge Park Casino – 1,250 slots

Massachusetts Gaming Commission
84 State Street, Suite 720
Boston,  MA  02109
Phone (617) 979-8400
Fax (617) 725-0258



The Massachusetts Lottery began operations in March 1972. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Megabucks Doubler, Mass Cash, Lucky For Life, Keno, All or Nothing and Daily Numbers.
Lottery proceeds benefit cities and towns across the state.

Massachusetts State Lottery  
60 Columbian Street
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone (781) 849-5555


Pari-mutuel facilities

There is currently one racetrack offering a regular program of live racing in Massachusetts, the harness track Plainridge Park. Suffolk Downs last raced a full season in 2014; it ran three live dates in 2015 and three two-day weekends of racing in 2016. The owner of the Brockton Fairgrounds has indicated there are plans to reinstate racing at that facility, which has not held racing since 2001.

The state also had a long history with Greyhound racing, but voters chose to ban the sport effective January 1, 2010. One former Greyhound track, Rayhnam Park, remains open for simulcasting.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission assumed the duties of the former Racing Commission on May 20, 2012.

Plainridge Park Racecourse
301 Washington Street
Plainville, MA 02762

Suffolk Downs
111 Waldemar Ave.
East Boston, MA 02128

Raynham Park (simulcasting only)
1958 Broadway
Raynham, MA 02767

Massachusetts Gaming Commission
84 State Street, Suite 720
Boston, MA 02109
Phone (617) 979-8400
Fax (617) 725-0258


Charitable gaming

Charitable organizations, churches and schools may offer Beano (bingo) games, raffles and bazaars. Licensees are also allowed to sell charity game tickets (pulltabs or break-open tickets) on premises beyond the approved bingo hours.

Massachusetts State Lottery
Charitable Gaming Division
60 Columbian Street
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone (781) 849-5555


Last updated on March 18, 2017