Slowly but surely, the launch of sports betting in Massachusetts is getting closer.
After an exhaustive, 11-hour public meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Monday, two more entities were unanimously approved to launch at a date to be determined.
The morning session featured the approval of MGM Springfield, which was awarded a Category 1 (retail) sports wagering operator license.
MGM Springfield now must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before bets can be accepted. The MGC has set a deadline to launch retail sports wagering at the state’s three casino locations, which are eligible for Category 1 licenses, in late January.
The retail sportsbook is the second to be approved as Encore Boston Harbor (WynnBet) was the first to be approved on Dec. 13.
During the afternoon/evening session, the MGC approved BetMGM for a temporary Category 3 (mobile) sports wagering operator license.
Keep an eye out for a BetMGM Massachusetts bonus code as the launch approaches.
Conditions were placed on this vote by the MGC requiring BetMGM to provide updates regarding any developments to two confidential investigations first reported to the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) on Dec. 16. BetMGM also must provide the Commission with a vendor diversity list.
A full suitability review of BetMGM will be conducted by the MGC.
The Category 3 license would be tethered to MGM Springfield, where they also will have an on-site, brick-and-mortar sportsbook.
Sports betting legislation was passed in the state on Aug. 1 and was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 10.
More License Discussion Tuesday
Four potential licenses are up for discussion during Tuesday’s MGC public meeting, which will be the last for 2022 involving licenses.
The first two items to be discussed and possibly voted upon on will be Caesars Massachusetts Sportsbook and Plainridge Park Casino (PPC) applications.
The MGC started its discussion on Caesars Sportsbook’s application on Dec. 13.
Both Caesars and PPC will be continuing hearings that failed to result in votes earlier this month as the PPC's application was held up due to concerns over ties with Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts and its founder, Dave Portnoy. Caesars also had issues with its application that will be addressed.
The final two applications to be discussed will be the aforementioned Barstool Sports and Fanatics. However, due to time constraints, these might be pushed back to early January 2023.
The MGC set a goal to launch online/mobile Massachusetts sports betting apps in March 2023.
There is a MGC public meeting on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., but that will discuss and potentially approve more sports wagering regulations, a sports wagering update on the self-service kiosk verification process and an update from the Commissioner on MGM Springfield’s litigation and reporting.
The application license discussion will not be furthered on Thursday, according to the meeting posted on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission website.