Massachusetts Gaming Commission Receives 15 Operator Applications

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Receives 15 Operator Applications
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Massachusetts sports betting has moved a step closer to reality.

Applicants applying for sports wagering operator licenses had to submit their application by 2 p.m. ET Monday afternoon. 

A total of 15 sports wagering operator applications were submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Three applications were received for Category 1 licenses, five were received for a Category 3 license tethered to a Category 1 license, and six for stand-alone Category 3 licenses.  

One additional Category 3 license application to be tethered to a Category 2 license was also submitted.

Category 2 licenses, which only current horse tracks or simulcast facilities are eligible for, will be accepted on a rolling basis.

If everything goes according to the process, retail sportsbooks will open in January 2023, with online Massachusetts betting apps launching in March.

Full Sports Betting in Massachusetts Breakdown

Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville have each submitted applications for a Category 1 operator license. The law allows for Category 1 sports wagering operators to operate in-person wagering at their properties, plus up to two online platforms. The online platforms attached to a Category 1 license will be licensed as Category 3 sports wagering operators.

Encore Boston Harbor has indicated that it intends to operate two online platforms, WynnBet and Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts

MGM Springfield has indicated intentions to operate one online platform, BetMGM. Plainridge Park Casino has indicated that it intends to operate two online platforms, Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook. These three entities are required to be licensed as Category 3 operators and have submitted the relevant applications. These licenses are subject to MGC approval.   

Six applications were submitted for Category 3 operator licenses, not including the five tethered to a Category 1. The law permits the MGC to award no more than seven stand-alone Category 3 licenses, which allows the operator to offer sports wagering in the state through an online platform. 

The Category 3 applicants tethered to a Category 1 license do not count toward the total of seven stand-alone Category 3 licenses. A list of stand-alone Category 3 applicants can be found below.

Each applicant has also submitted a $200,000 application fee payment.

Retail Set for January, Mobile in March

The MGC has set a goal of launching in-person (retail) betting at Category 1 locations in January 2023 and online (mobile) wagering in March.  

Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs are the only entities eligible to apply for a Category 2 license as of now. Both have indicated that, while they intend to apply, they are not prepared to begin offering in-person sports wagering by January.

With Category 2 licenses not being subject to a competitive process, commissioners decided on Nov. 10 to allow applications from Category 2 applicants to be submitted on a rolling basis, including applications for tethered Category 3 licenses. 

However, ahead of the application deadline, Raynham Park told the MGC aware that the facility will partner with bet365 to operate an online platform. Bet365 Massachusetts has applied ahead of the deadline. 

For a Category 3 operator tethered to a Category 2 license to commence operations, the Category 2 license and certificate of operations must be awarded.  

Category 3 (stand-alone) applications received: Bally Bet, Betr, Betway (DGC USA), DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.

Scoping Surveys Due Last Month

On Oct. 7, the MGC released a scoping survey, which was a required prerequisite of a sports wagering operator application. Entities wishing to apply for sports wagering operator licenses were required to submit that scoping survey by Oct. 17 for the MGC to begin reviewing those companies that planned to apply by today’s deadline. 

Last month, the MGC received 30 operator scoping surveys from potential applicants for Category 1, 2 and 3 Sports Wagering Licenses. 

Of those, three came from potential Category 1 applicants, three from potential Category 2 applicants and 24 from potential Category 3 applicants. 

The survey sought specific company information and helped provide the MGC with important information ahead of application submissions and the applicant evaluation process. While the survey is a required part of an application, the non-refundable application processing fee of $200,000 is not due until full applications are submitted, which was today. 

The dawn of sports wagering in the Bay State draws nearer, so stay close to for any developments as well as for advice on Massachusetts sportsbook promos.

October Monthly Casino Increases

The three commercial Massachusetts casinos combined for more than $791.45 million in handle (amount bet) in October, a 4.4% increase over the $758.4 million wagered the previous month, according to official numbers released by the MGC last week. 

Since it opened in summer 2019, Encore Boston Harbor easily led the state in handle and did so again in October with more than $410.94 million. MGM Springfield added $205.93 million, and Plainridge Park Casino came in at $174.58 million. 

The combined October Massachusetts casino revenue was more than $97.3 million, a 3.1% increase over the $94.36 million reported in September.



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.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: