The soft launch for placing in-person sports bets was set for the end of this month, ahead of the Superbowl, and six operators are already in line, waiting to see if their applications for mobile sports betting licenses will be accepted.
Online Sports Betting Discussions
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is reconvening on January 3, and its 10 am public meeting/hearing will be focused on the six operators who have applied for an online sports betting license. The hearing will allow for anyone interested to provide input or comments on the operators and their applications. The review process will continue in the following days.
The applicants are Bally’s Interactive, LLC, Betfair Interactive US, LLC (the business name behind FanDuel); Betr Holdings, Inc.; Crown MA Gaming, LLC (the business name behind DraftKings); Digital Gaming Corporation USA, and PointsBet Massachusetts, LLC. Currently, however, only three brick-and-mortar casinos have licenses – Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, and MGM Springfield.
Sports betting in Massachusetts has been developing heavily recently, with Encore Boston Harbor being the first casino to receive a sports betting license in the state’s history. MGM failed on the first attempt at taking that title but was later found suitable for a license as well. Plainridge soon followed suit, with Caesars eagerly awaiting developments on the mobile front.
Massachusetts Gambling Expansion
The mobile sports betting market in Massachusetts was scheduled to launch in March this year, with the license applications review process picking up where it left off from the very first workday of the new year. The road to getting a mobile sport betting implementation hasn’t been entirely a smooth ride, however, with some hurdles slowing down the process.
As it currently stands, the license applicants are looking at a $5 million bill if their application bids are approved. The licenses will be covering a 5-year period, at the end of which another application will be due, bringing with it the possibility to pay another $5 million bill if the operator is deemed suitable for license renewal.
Massachusetts was very active in its gambling expansion in 2022, and by the looks of the MGC’s meetings schedule and agendas, 2023 is going to bring more of the same. Sports betting is looking at being finalized soon, with a soft launch for in-person sports wagers scheduled for the end of January. There’s more on the to-do list, though.
With Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all having online poker regulated, and being relatively close to Massachusetts, speculation has been bubbling about whether the Bay State might be looking into it as well. However, the pressure from proximity to legalized gambling activities isn’t as high for mobile implementations, so this is pure speculation at this point.