Caesars, Barstool Among Latest Passed by Mass. Commission

Caesars, Barstool Among Latest Passed by Mass. Commission
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The last public meeting of the year for Massachusetts sports betting application license reviews and approvals by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) took place on Tuesday with two more licenses being awarded.

The MGC voted unanimously that Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook is preliminarily suitable for a temporary Category 3 (mobile) sports wagering operator license, which will be tethered to the Category 1 (retail) license awarded to Encore Boston Harbor last week.

Retail sports wagering is set to launch late January 2023, but no specific date and time has been approved or announced yet by the MGC.

Online/mobile wagering on Massachusetts sports apps is set to launch sometime in March 2023. 

The legislation for sports betting in Massachusetts was passed on Aug. 1 and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 10.

A Category 1 sports betting license also permits the holder to offer wagering through no more than two individually branded mobile applications or other digital platforms that are approved by the MGC.

A full suitability review now will be conducted by the MGC for Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook. The entity now must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events.

Barstool Sportsbook at Plainridge Park Gets Nod

Later on Monday afternoon, the MGC approved and awarded a temporary (one-year) retail license (with a $1 million fee) to Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sportsbook).

However, Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts must undergo a full suitability and background investigation by the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) when it is fully acquired by PENN Entertainment in February 2023 and no person as an audience member under the age of 21 can attend on-site Barstool Sportsbook College Football shows in the future.

Jay Snowden, PENN Entertainment’s president, opened the afternoon with a long discussion of the MGC’s concerns and worries over Barstool Sports and former president Dave Portnoy. Snowden stressed that Barstool Sports is a marketing partner of PENN Entertainment and has zero influence over any decisions for the future Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts, which is wholly owned and operated by PENN.

The PENN Interactive Barstool Sportsbook mobile application, which would be tethered to Plainridge Park Casino, was scheduled to be heard, but instead will be pushed back until Jan. 3 at 1 p.m., when the MGC reconvenes and continues its review.

Massachusetts Approved Sportsbooks To Date

  • Retail: Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park
  • Mobile: WynnBet Massachusetts, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook

The state of Massachusetts figures to be a key state nationally in sports betting, in large part because of its rabid fan base. BetMassachusetts.com conducted a survey that looks at preferences among residents for their favorite team.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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