Tentative plan to launch Massachusetts sports betting in January

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) designated “late January” for the launch of sports betting at the state’s three gambling venues (Category 1). Two casinos and one slot parlor are currently operating in the state.

The plan would allow Massachusetts bettors to place a bet on the Super Bowl at either Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield, or Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

“Early March” is the launch date for mobile sports wagering (Category 3). Mobile betting would be ready for the March Madness college basketball tournament.

Betting at two state simulcasting centers (Category 2) is on hold as the commission awaits more info from those facilities.

The commission still needs to receive public comments and review applications for the seven mobile licenses to launch mobile sports betting in March.

“OK, there we go, everyone. Let’s make it a party,” MGC Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said after the commission voted and approved the plan. Not all commissioners agreed with the plan.

“I want to note that you are still operating under the timelines of a couple of commissioners who have made those timelines clear and have essentially directed that the timeline be worked to accommodate those sports events, the Super Bowl and March Madness, and I am simply not OK with that,” said Commissioner Nakisha Skinner during the meeting. “I would like to have a timeline presented that is not taxing to staff and that is not centered around sporting events.”

The timeline for a late January launch, and March, was approved after two days of meetings that lasted more than 12 hours.

The MGC has released a Scoping Survey for those intending to apply for a Category 1, 2, or 3 sports wagering operator license or to be vendors to potential licensees. The survey, which is required as part of sports wagering applications, is due on Oct. 17.

In addition, the commission released applications for Category 1, 2, & 3 sports wagering licenses & is seeking public comment through 5 p.m. on Oct. 17. The application is subject to change as additional necessary info becomes available.

2022 Massachusetts Sports Wagering Timeline:

  • Aug. 10 – Governor Baker signs sports wagering bill into law.
  • Aug. 17 – MGC releases Notice of Intent.
  • Aug. 18 – MGC holds a roundtable for current licensees.
  • Aug. 31 – Notice of Intent (NOI) due to MGC.
  • Sept. 8 – MGC public meeting on sports wagering.
  • Sept. 13 – MGC holds a roundtable focused on responsible gaming in sports wagering.
  • Sept. 15 – Temporary License provision issue discussed at MGC meeting.
  • Sept. 22 – MGC holds a roundtable focused on online operators – invited guests from companies that submitted NOI.
  • Oct. 7 – MGC released Scoping Survey and sport wagering Applications for Category 1, 2, and 3 operators.
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.