Mass. Casinos Ready Plans for Tuesday’s Opening Day

Mass. Casinos Ready Plans for Tuesday’s Opening Day
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

All three casinos have announced their opening day activities for Tuesday, Jan. 31, when the historic launch of retail Massachusetts sports betting commences.

During its latest public hearing on Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced that Plainridge Park Casino (Barstool Sports) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., with former New England Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich, a two-time Super Bowl winner, placing the sportsbook’s first wager. Ninkovich spent eight seasons with the Patriots and announced his retirement after the 2016 season.

Plainridge Park has 20 self-service Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts betting kiosks and six teller windows on property.

On Wednesday, the two other locations, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett (WynnBET) and MGM Springfield (BetMGMs), announced their intentions for the first day of operations.

Those facilities will only be the first retail sportsbooks to go live in Massachusetts, with additional sportsbooks at Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs to launch at a later date. 

Ray Bourque, a Boston Bruins legend and Hall of Famer, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno will be among the first to make wagers at the BetMGM Massachusetts Sportsbook & Lounge at MGM Springfield at 10 a.m.

Other dignitaries in attendance: Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM chief executive officer; Chris Gumiela, MGM Resorts vice president; Chris Kelley, MGM Springfield president; Massachusetts State Senator Adam Gomez and Massachusetts House Representative Carlos Gonzalez.

MGM Springfield has 18 self-service kiosks with eight teller windows.

Opening Plans at Encore Boston Harbor

Encore Boston Harbor (EBH) will begin taking sports bets at 10 a.m. 

Thirty-two lucky guests will be chosen to place the historic bets. Immediately following, former Boston championship-winning athletes such as former Patriots Ty Law and Matt Light, Celtics Cedric Maxwell and Eddie House, RedSox centerfielder Johnny Damon, Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton and former Olympian Angela Ruggiero will simultaneously place their first bets at the windows inside the WynnBET Sportsbook.

The launch event will be emceed by ESPN’s Sean McDonough and championship trophies will also be on display and available for photo opportunities.

“Boston has the best sports fans in the world,” said Jenny Holaday, president of Encore Boston Harbor, in a news announcement. “We can’t wait to open Boston’s sportsbook and welcome our guests to bet on their favorite teams.”

EBH will have the largest number of self-service kiosks in the state (118), along with 10 teller windows.

The majority of its sports kiosks will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other onsite options include the Express Sportsbook, which is located on the first floor of the self-parking garage, with 20 kiosks and a 15-minute parking limit for sports bettors looking to get in and out quickly.

Called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), EBH also will offer a website that helps guests create any type of sports bet on their personal mobile device. Guests can save (or copy) the generated QR code and scan it at any open WynnBET sports kiosk. The QR code put the desired wager on the kiosk screen, allowing sports bettors the time to build their bet slips from any location, then quickly scan it at any of the casino’s betting kiosks.

“We’ve created a thoughtfully designed sports betting experience for our guests at Encore Boston Harbor,” said Ian Williams, president of Wynn Interactive. “Whether you’re placing your first sports bet ever, or you’re a seasoned sports bettor, we’ve thought through how we can make your visit as easy and enjoyable as possible.”

Legal mobile wagering on Massachusetts betting apps is expected to begin in March before the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sports betting legislation was passed back on Aug. 1 and signed into law by then-Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 10.

Moving forward, be sure to check out our reviews of various promotions, such as the Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts promo code, which will be available to claim starting Friday, March 10. 



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 ( 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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