Massachusetts Regulators Provide Timeline to Launch Sports Betting

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Officials from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced Thursday they will begin the evaluation of Category 1 applications next week in preparation to launch sports betting in Massachusetts next month.

Massachusetts’ three casinos – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino – submitted applications to operate in-person retail sportsbooks at their locations. The applications will be publicly evaluated by MGC before Dec. 9.

“The licensees have been notified to appear,” MGC Director Karen Wells said during Thursday’s meeting. The deadline to apply was Nov. 21.

“That will be followed by the evaluation of the tethered license applications,” Wells said. These are mobile sports betting apps tied to retail sportsbooks located in Massachusetts. Mobile sports betting online is scheduled to launch in early March.

Applications for up to two mobile licenses tied, or tethered, to a retail sportsbook (known as Category 3) will be evaluated in mid-December.

“We are also finalizing a contract with a vendor to work with the commission on a tool for the evaluation of the untethered applicants, which is scheduled to begin at the beginning of January,” Wells said at the meeting.

WynnBET and Caesars Sportsbook have partnered with Encore Boston Harbor. BetMGM MA has partnered with MGM Springfield. Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook have partnered with Plainridge Park Casino.

Wells said she will accompany a team to meet with the casino properties on Monday.

“We’re getting ahead of things a little bit and informing them of what the process will be for inspection of the floor, and how GLI will go through the process of certifying that they are good to go for an operation certificate.” GLI provides independent testing, certification, & assessment services to the global gaming industry.

Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, FanDuel, PointsBet, and DraftKings Massachusetts will compete for untethered mobile online sports betting licenses.

“The legal department, as you have seen, has continued to crank out the regulations required for sports wagering, those are currently on schedule and many compliments to the legal team and outside counsel and GLI for keeping on target as we are all aware it was an extremely aggressive schedule for that and they’ve been doing a fantastic job,” Wells added.

“The other piece that’s coming down the road is going to be the internal control submissions and review, and review of the house rules,” Wells said. “That’s a critical piece for the timeline. So the expectation is you will be having the regulations related to internal controls on the 15th of December. Should those be promulgated on that date. We are working to meet with the licensees and get their internal controls as soon as possible after that date. So that’s a critical date for us.”

Wells concluded, “Overall, things are on schedule as we ramp up to start the work of regulating sports wagering.”

author
Political Editor

Keith Stein is a freelance journalist based in Virginia. He has experience in freelance writing, full-time journalism and supporting monthly and weekly news publications. He has also worked as a contributing writer with United Press International.

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