When will sports betting launch in Mass.? Authorities say next year

With the MLB World Series in the rearview mirror, the FIFA World Cup in full swing and the NFL Super Bowl looming, Massachusetts residents may be wondering when sports betting will begin here after lawmakers legalized it over the summer .

Gaming regulators have targeted a late January 2023 launch for in-person betting at the state’s three casinos and an early March 2023 launch for mobile sports betting. But members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission have left room to change that data if problems arise or more time is needed to implement a regulatory framework.

Since Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sports betting bill into law on Aug. 10, regulators have met almost weekly to craft regulations that cover everything from how they will consider requests from companies that want to offer sports betting to responsible gambling measures and technology related rules to operating certificates.

  • Read more: These casinos, mobile platforms have applied for mass sports betting licenses

The field of potential sports betting companies in Massachusetts narrowed last week after 15 entities applied for a license from a group of 30 companies that initially expressed interest in the new market.

The Gaming Commission’s Office of Investigation and Enforcement will conduct a process to determine which applicants are eligible to settle in Massachusetts, and commissioners will hold public meetings to review each application.

At a hearing days before the application was due, Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Director Loretta Lillios said her division had met with potential sports betting licensees.

“We met with them in groups according to their category. I have answered their questions and I know they are now working hard on their requests,” she said at a November 17 meeting.

  • Read more: “All eyes” on Monday with sports betting apps in Mass

The filings, which are considered a public record under state law, were due by 2 p.m. Nov. 21, along with a $200,000 processing fee. The commission said it would release the requests publicly, although a timetable for posting them is still being worked out.

State law allows each of the three casinos — Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield — to apply for a license to allow both in-person betting and mobile sports betting through up to two individually branded platforms.

Encore Boston Harbor announced that it will operate a single online platform through its in-house app, WynnBET, and surrender its second mobile sports betting license to Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

  • Read more: Encore reaches preliminary agreement with Caesars for one of its mobile sports betting licenses

MGM Springfield said it will operate a single online platform, BetMGM, according to regulators. Plainridge Park Casino said it will run mobile betting through Penn Sports Interactive and allow Fanatics Sportsbook to operate its second mobile platform, the Gaming Commission said.

The Massachusetts Sports Betting Act also allows the Gaming Commission to grant up to seven licenses to companies that want to operate online sports betting but are not tied to a brick-and-mortar facility.

A who’s who of companies initially said they wanted to apply for one of the coveted standalone online sports betting licences. But only six companies submitted applications by the deadline last week.

These include Bally Bet, Jake Paul’s Bet, Betway, Boston DraftKings, FanDuel and Pointsbet.

  • Read more: Regulators are concerned about national sports betting ads that violate local rules

Live horse racing tracks and simulcast facilities such as Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs can also apply for sports betting licenses through a non-competitive process. Both companies have said they plan to do so, but won’t be ready to launch in-person betting until January 2023.

“However, ahead of the application deadline, Raynham Park did [Gaming Commission] are aware that they will be working with bet365 to operate an online platform. Bet365 applied before the deadline,” the regulator said in a statement last week.

  • Read more: Regulators provide clarity on sports betting apps for horse tracks, simulcast centres

The gaming commission is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, where staff members are expected to provide application processing updates and discuss submitting the MGM Springfield sports betting application.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *