The Road to Legalized Mobile Sports Betting in Massachusetts

The Road to Legalized Mobile Sports Betting in Massachusetts
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It finally is here. Mobile Massachusetts sports betting launched successfully on Friday, March 10.

Retail wagering got the state going on Jan. 31.

Let’s take a look back at the key dates during the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) process that led us up to Friday's launch for six Massachusetts sport betting apps in the Commonwealth: 

2023

March 10: Mobile sportsbooks launch!

March 8: Betr announces it will not launch March 10. Plans to do so later in month.

March 2: MGC votes in favor of two waivers that will allow third-party affiliates and sportsbooks to enter into marketing agreements based on a “Cost Per Acquisition” and/or revenue-sharing model

Feb. 23: PointsBet bows out as sportsbook operator in Massachusetts

Feb. 15: Official figures from retail sportsbook launch on Jan. 31 released

Feb. 9: MGC announces March 10 as official mobile launch date

Jan. 31: Retail launch day at 10 a.m. Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano gives his impressions.

Jan. 30: Certificate of Operations completed at noon for each of the three retail sportsbooks.

Jan. 29: NFL’s NFC/AFC Championship Games

Jan. 25: MGM Springfield (BetMGM Massachusetts), Encore Boston Harbor announce Opening Day plans 
 
Jan. 24: MGC approves bets, events and markets menu for Massachusetts sports betting; Plainridge Park Casino announces Opening Day plans with former New England Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich to make the first wager on property.

Jan. 23: Caesars Entertainment announces plans to build a retail Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts at Raynham Park
 
Jan. 20: MGC announces 10 a.m. start time to go live on Jan. 31 for three retail sportsbooks 
 
Jan. 19: All six untethered Category 3 (online) sportsbook license applications approved for BallyBet, betr, Betway, DraftKings Massachusetts, FanDuel and PointsBetUSA.
 
Jan. 17: PointsBet USA meets criteria for an untethered Category 3 (online) Sports Wagering Operator License 
 
Jan. 13: Betway Massachusetts meets criteria for an untethered Category 3 (online) Sports Wagering Operator License. 
 
Jan. 12: Fanatics Betting & Gaming approved for a temporary Category 3 (online) Sports Wagering Operator License. 
 
Jan. 11: DraftKings Sportsbook approval 
 
Jan. 10: betr approval 
 
Jan. 9: FanDuel Sportsbook MA approval 
 
Jan. 6: BallySports approval 

Jan. 4: Barstool Sportsbook Massachusetts approved for a temporary Category 3 (online) Sports Wagering Operator License. 

2022

 
Dec. 22: MGC sets date of Tuesday, Jan. 31 for retail sports betting to launch. Mobile/online sports betting looks to have a launch date before the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament in mid-March, but no date/time has been determined. 
 
Dec. 21: Barstool Sports, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook are among the latest to get MGC retail approval. 
 
Dec. 20: Plainridge Park Casino found preliminarily suitable for temporary Category 1 Sports Wagering Operator License; Caesars Sportsbook found suitable for temporary Category 3 Sports Wagering Operator License 
 
Dec. 19: BetMGM found suitable for temporary Category 3 Sports Wagering Operator License; MGM Springfield awarded Category 1 Sports Wagering Operator License.
 
Dec. 13: WynnBet awarded Category 3 Sports Wagering Operator License. 
 
Dec. 8: Encore Boston Harbor in Everett awarded Category 1 Sports Wagering Operator License. 
 
Nov. 22: Fifteen sports wagering operator applications were submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). Three applications were received for Category 1 licenses, five for a Category 3 license tethered to a Category 1 license and six for stand-alone Category 3. 
 
Oct. 19: Twenty-nine sports betting operators submit scoping surveys to the MGC, but just 23 will be eligible for an online betting license. 
 
Oct. 6: Fears the state might miss out on Super Bowl betting at online sportsbooks as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets to try to map out a timeline.

Sept. 22: MGC holds roundtable focused on online operators with invited guests from companies that submitted Notice of Intent.

Sept. 15: Temporary License provision issue discussed by MGC.

Sept. 13: MGC holds roundtable focused on responsible gaming in sports wagering. 
 
Sept. 8: MGC holds first public meeting on sports wagering. 
 
Aug. 31: Notice of Intent due to MGC

Aug. 18: MGC holds roundtable for current licensees

Aug. 17: Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) releases Notice of Intent

Aug. 10: Gov. Baker signs sports betting bill into law

Aug. 1: The Sports Betting Conference Committee, consisting of senators and representatives, votes 36-4 in favor of the compromise bill. It heads to Gov. Charlie Baker to be signed into law. 

Be sure to check back with BetMassachusetts to stay up to date on all the best Massachusetts sportsbook promos

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Author

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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